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Suicide bomber kills Afghan civilian, injures 60 near U.S. base

December 2, 2011 |  9:14 am

REPORTING FROM KABUL, AFGHANISTAN -- A suicide attacker driving a truck packed with explosives tried to breach a remote U.S.-run combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, but instead detonated the powerful bomb in an adjacent civilian district center, killing one Afghan and injuring some 60 others.

Like many attacks aimed at Western troops in Afghanistan, this one, in Logar province south of Kabul, mainly killed and injured Afghan civilians.

There were no fatalities among the NATO troops inside the base, said Maj. Jason Waggoner, a spokesman for the alliance’s International Security Assistance Force. He declined to say whether any Americans were injured.

A provincial spokesman, Din Mohammad Darwish, identified the Afghan man who was killed as a carpenter who worked at the base. Five members of the Afghan security forces were hurt, he said.

The explosion destroyed three government buildings, but Friday is the Muslim day of prayer and rest, so almost no workers were on hand. The force of the blast shattered windows for more than two miles around, and most of the dozens of injured suffered cuts from broken glass or flying debris.

“It was a really big explosion,” Darwish said.

The Haqqani network, a Pakistan-based insurgent group, is known to be active in the Mohammad Agha district where the base is located, but military officials said the attacker’s affiliation was not immediately known.

The Haqqanis were blamed for a similar attack in September on a U.S.-run base in neighboring Wardak province, which injured nearly 80 American troops. 


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-- Laura King