At least 30 people aboard a bus have died after it collided with the wreckage of a fuel tanker in southern Afghanistan, officials have said.

The battered vehicle was left in the middle of a narrow road on the border of Helmand and Kandahar provinces for several days after Taliban fighters opened fire on it. Police considered the area too dangerous to enter, the officials said.

Early on Friday, the bus smashed into the truck and both vehicles burst into flames, badly burning many of the bus passengers, according to Abdul Razaq, the provincial police chief of Kandahar.

Razaq said eight passengers were injured. Omar Zawak, the governor's spokesman in Helmand province, put the injury total at 11. Both said the casualties included men, women and children.

The bus began its journey in the capital of Helmand province and was scheduled to stop in Kandahar city, then travel north to Kabul.

Source: Agencies