FARAH, Afghanistan, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Seven civilians were killed by militants along a main roadway in Afghanistan's western province of Farah late Tuesday, a provincial government spokesman said on Wednesday.
"The incident occurred in Bala Buluk District after armed militants intercepted a long-distance bus, and unknown gunmen singled out seven civilians and shot them dead at the roadside before releasing the vehicle together with the remaining passengers," spokesman Mohammad Nasir Mehri told Xinhua.
According to the official, the bus was travelling from Farah to neighboring Herat province.
The reason for the bloody incident has yet to be known. However, some locals on condition of anonymity put the attack on the Taliban outfit, saying that the armed group had "blamed the ill-fated men for working for the government."
In addition, local TV channel Tolo News reported Wednesday that the militants seized control of the road in Bala Buluk, and set up checkpoints to intercept and check vehicles running along the road.
More than 10 Taliban militants were killed and seven others wounded after Afghan security forces arrived at the area and engaged with the militants, according to the report.
The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since late April when the militant group launched its annual rebel offensive in different places of the country.
Local observers believe that the Taliban would intensify activities to gain more territory ahead of winter and snowfall in the mountainous country.