11 killed in Afghanistan suicide bike blast


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The Independent Online

A man riding a motorcycle packed with explosives rammed his vehicle into a patrol of Afghan and international forces in eastern Afghanistan today, killing at least 11 people, including three international service members and their translator, officials said.

The Taliban promptly claimed responsibility for the blast.

The bomber struck a foot patrol while the troops were walking through the capital city of Khost province at around 9am local time, said Khost province Deputy Police Chief Yaqu Khan.

Coalition spokesman Major Adam Wojack would only confirm that three Nato service members and their translator were killed in a bombing in the east, without giving an exact location or the nationalities of the dead.

The international military alliance usually waits for individual nations to announce details on deaths. It was not immediately clear if the translator was an Afghan citizen or a foreigner, Maj Wojack said.

The blast killed at least four Afghan police officers and three civilians who were nearby, said Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish. Dozens were also wounded.

The city's hospital alone was treating about 25 people injured in the explosion, said Dr Amir Pacha, a physician working there. He added that there could be other victims being treated at nearby private clinics.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in text messages to media that the insurgent group was behind the attack.