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Suicide blast in Afghan bazaar kills 3

An Afghan policeman runs for cover as members of the Taliban open fire on coalition forces near Masum Ghar military base in Zhari district, west of Kandahar, April 18, 2008. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber blew himself up in a bazaar in an Afghan town close to the Pakistan border on Wednesday, killing three civilians and wounding at least 14 more, Afghan officials said.

The bomber blew himself up after being identified and chased by Afghan security forces in Spin Boldak in the southern province of Kandahar, senior border police officer Saifullah said.

Three civilians were killed and at least 14 wounded in the blast, a doctor at a hospital in the town and the provincial governor’s office said.

A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said foreign troops were also involved in the chase of the bomber who was in a vehicle, but said the only victim was the bomber himself.

The attack came hours after another suicide attack in the neighbouring province of Helmand killed two policemen.

The Taliban have vowed to launch a wave of suicide bombs across Afghanistan this year to overthrow the pro-Western Afghan government and drive out foreign troops.

The Taliban carried out at least 140 suicide bomb attacks last year. Most of the victims, around 200, were civilians.

Writing by Sayed Salahuddin, editing by David Fox