Sep 1, 2012 / 8:34 am
Two suicide attackers, one driving a fuel tanker, blew themselves up near a U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing at least 12 people, officials said.
The attack around dawn in the town of Sayed Abad in Wardak province, about 70 kilometres from Kabul, served as a reminder that even after a decade of fighting, tens of thousands of U.S. and foreign troops are still engaged in a war that shows no signs of slowing down despite the start of a withdrawal of coalition forces.
The U.S.-led NATO coalition said that no American or coalition troops were killed in the blasts. It confirmed that a number of troops were wounded, but did not say how many, in accordance with coalition policy.
Shahidullah Shadid, a spokesman for the Wardak provincial governor, said one suicide bomber detonated a vest rigged with explosives outside a compound housing the district governor's office, while another in a fuel tanker detonated his bomb on a road separating the compound from the base. He said the dead included eight civilians and four Afghan police.
"It was a very powerful explosion. It broke windows all over the area," said provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Qayum Bakizai. "Most of the injuries are from broken glass from the windows of homes and shops. It was so powerful we couldn't find much of the truck."
The governor's office said in a statement that 59 people were wounded, along with two NATO troops, 47 civilians and ten Afghan police officers.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, which he said was targeting the U.S. base.
In a separate incident Saturday, NATO said that two U.S. soldiers were killed in eastern Ghazni province. It did not provide any further information or details about the deaths, the first this month. A total of 53 foreign troops were killed in Afghanistan in August.
Patrick Quinn contributed from Kabul and Slobodan Lekic from Brunssum.
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