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Germany

Suicide Bombing Targets German, Afghan Troops

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden car near a convoy of German and Afghan troops in northern Afghanistan, killing himself but causing no other casualties, authorities said.

A German ISAF soldier, center, secures a police station with Afghan National policemen during a patrol tin the town of Taloqan, near Kunduz, northern Afghanistan

Tuesday's attack was the third on German troops in Afghanistan since August

The attack on Tuesday, Sept. 23, took place in the center of the northern city of Kunduz, the capital of the province of the same name, when a joint Afghan and German military convoy was passing by, Provincial Governor Mohammad Omar said.

"No one was killed or wounded in the explosion as the bomber exploded himself some 100 meters (330 feet) from the convoy," Omar confirmed.

"There was a big bang, and the window panes of several houses in the area, including mine, were broken," local resident Sayed Ahmad said.

A spokesperson for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) also confirmed the suicide bombing against their soldiers and said two military vehicles were slightly damaged.

"Two NATO vehicles were slightly damaged and no one was killed or injured in the blast," said Colonel Roner Boska, an officer at a German-run base in the town.

Taliban to blame

Two pictures of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar

Taliban in Afghanistan leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is still at large

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid took responsibility for the attack and said that one of their bombers, Nasurullah, carried out the attack.

"Two German military tanks were destroyed in the attack and all soldiers inside were killed," Mujahid told news agency DPA by phone from an undisclosed location.

The site of the attack was cordoned off by German forces, and reporters and local bystanders were refused close access to the site, Ahmad Mansoor, a witness said, as reported by DPA.

Northern provinces, including Kunduz, have been relatively calm compared with those in southern and eastern Afghanistan, where insurgents are most active.

Taliban militants, ousted from power in late 2001, have waged a bloody insurgency against the Western-backed Afghan government and international forces in the country and recently have begun to rely largely on the use of suicide and roadside bombings.

In another suicide attack against German forces this month, a bomber and a civilian were killed. In a separate roadside bombing one German soldier was killed and three wounded in late August in Kunduz province.

More than 3,500 German soldiers are stationed in Kunduz and other northern provinces. The soldiers are part of the 53,000-strong, NATO-led ISAF, which consists of troops from 40 nations.

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