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The Afghan Defense Ministry says at least 43 people were killed after a head-on collision between a passenger bus and a truck in northern Afghanistan.

In a statement on December 25, the ministry said women and children were among those killed in the accident late on the previous day on a major highway in Samangan Province.

The bus, carrying more than 50 passengers, was traveling from the capital, Kabul to the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif on December 24 when the collision occurred in the Hazrat Sultan district of Samangan.

The defense ministry statement said 17 people were also injured in the incident.

The injured were rushed to hospital while police and a rescue team retrieved the bodies.

Afghanistan has some of the world's most dangerous roads and deadly accidents are common.

At least 18 people were killed in May when a minivan overturned in the western province of Badghis.

Based on reporting by AFP and Pajhwok