A BUS has overturned in southwestern Iran, killing 26 female high school students on board.

Eighteen others were injured when the bus, carrying students from the town of Borujen, flipped on the Izeh-Lordegan road, about 435 miles southwest of the capital Tehran.

Road traffic accidents kill nearly 28,000 people and injure or disable a further 300,000 every year in Iran, a country of 75 million people, according to statistics from Unicef. The figures suggest road accidents occur at a rate 20 times higher in Iran than the global average.

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■iran