IMAGE: Afghan suicide blast
Hamid Zalmay  /  Reuters
Smoke billows from the site of Friday's suicide blast in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
updated 10/13/2006 7:19:45 AM ET 2006-10-13T11:19:45

A suicide attacker targeting a NATO convoy in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar killed seven civilians and wounded several people, including two foreign soldiers, on Friday.

The attack on Kabul highway just outside the city is the latest in an increasing number of suicide bombings that have killed about 200 people this year, already the bloodiest year in Afghanistan since the Taliban government was toppled in 2001.

Police and a NATO spokesman said several civilians and two NATO soldiers were wounded in the attack near the turnoff to the Kandahar airport, a major military base.

The alliance also said late on Thursday NATO and Afghan troops killed 25 insurgents in neighboring Uruzgan province on Wednesday in a battle after a bomb struck their patrol.

A civilian was killed in the crossfire and seven civilians and several Afghan soldiers wounded, NATO said in a statement.

There were no foreign casualties.

But on Wednesday, a U.S. soldier died after falling out of a helicopter following an operation in southern Helmand province.

More than 2,500 people, 140 of them foreign soldiers, have died this year, which has seen a revival of the Taliban five years after a U.S.-led invasion ousted its Islamist government.

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