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Afghan suicide bomber kills civilians and ISAF soldiers

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle has killed more than a dozen people near a market in Afghanistan's eastern city of Khost, including three NATO soldiers and their translator. More than 60 other people were wounded.

The office of Khost's governor said the dead also included four Afghan policemen, including the commander of a rapid reaction unit. It said the blast occurred in Khost's Adalat Square.

Taliban insurgents in an online message claimed responsibility for Monday's blast.

NATO's US-led International Security Assistance Force confirmed the deaths of its three soldiers and the translator but has not yet disclosed their nationalities. The personnel were on foot patrol when attacked.

NATO has more than 100,000 troops, including a German deployment, in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban insurgency. A NATO pull-out is scheduled by the end of 2014 with newly trained Afghan forces due to take over security.

Wardak incident still unclear

The Khost bombing follows a firefight on Saturday in the eastern province of Wardak where three Afghan soldiers, a US serviceman and a civilian contractor were killed.

The incident was initially described as an "insider attack" but NATO's Lieutenant General Adrian Bradshaw later said it could "possibly have involved insurgent fire."

The Afghan defense ministry said it had sent a delegation to investigate.

At least 51 foreign soldiers have been killed so far this year in "insider" attacks by Afghan soldiers, up from 35 in all of 2011.

ipj/rg (dpa, Reuters, AFP)