A young survivor of a Taliban massacre in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar last week says those killed were all innocent civilians.
The survivor, a 17-year-old named Shukrullah, told VOA the Taliban ambushed the bus filled with people traveling to Pakistan to be smuggled into Iran - where they hoped to find work.
He said the Taliban took about 30 passengers off the bus and executed them. He said he was shot several times and after the insurgents left, he managed to find an Afghan army unit that took him to a hospital.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for 27 killings, saying they attacked the bus because it was filled with Afghan soldiers. But Kabul said those killed were all civilians.
The United States on Monday strongly condemned the killings.
White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino called it a "barbaric attack." She said the killings are the latest chapter in what she called the Taliban's "outright war on the people of Afghanistan."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the people of Afghanistan will never forgive such acts and will take their revenge.
Authorities are still searching for victims of the attack. Many of those killed had been beheaded and mutilated.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.