Afghan suicide bomber targets NATO convoy

A US Blackhawk door-gunner loks out over
A U.S. Blackhawk door-gunner looks out over Paktika province, Afghanistan, on Dec. 6.John D. Mchugh / AFP - Getty Images
/ Source: The Associated Press

A suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy Thursday in southern Afghanistan, killing at least two Afghan civilians and wounding several others in the seventh suicide attack in the Kandahar region in 11 days, officials said.

No NATO troops were hurt in the blast, said Squadron Leader Jason Chalk, a spokesman for the alliance.

Some 15 civilians were killed or wounded near the blast site, said Razaq Khan, a police official at the scene. He did not provide a breakdown of the dead and wounded.

Two dead civilians and seven others wounded in the blast were sent to a local hospital in Kandahar, said Dr. Najibullah Khan.

Near-daily attacks plague Afghanistan's lawless southern provinces -- the former stronghold of the hardline Taliban regime, where the central government wields little power. The Kandahar
region has seen seven suicide bombings since Nov. 27, when two Canadian soldiers were killed in an attack.

On Wednesday, another bomber blew himself up next to a group of security contractors at the offices of the U.S. Protection and Investigations in Kandahar, killing two Americans and five Afghans.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for that attack.

Taliban militants have launched a record number of suicide and roadside bombs this year. A growing insurgency, especially in the country's south and east, has left close to 4,000 people dead, mostly militants killed in fighting with Afghan and Western forces.