June 20, 2012 / 10:02 AM / 7 years ago

Suicide bomber kills 10 civilians in Afghan east

KHOST, Afghanistan (Reuters) - - A suicide bomber on a motorbike attacked a convoy of NATO troops in the eastern Afghan city of Khost on Wednesday killing 10 civilians, hospital officials said, the second attack on foreign forces in the troubled province this month.

At least 16 people were wounded including women and children, said officials at the main hospital in the city near the Pakistan border.

A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said there was an insurgent attack in the city involving ISAF and Afghan forces, but he had no confirmation about casualties.

This month, the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on a U.S. base in the province in which a U.S. soldier, a U.S. contractor and an Afghan civilian were killed, the NATO force said.

It said 14 insurgents were killed in the June 1 attack carried out by fighters wearing suicide-bomb vests and firing rocket-propelled grenades.

Khost is a main area of operations for the Taliban-linked Haqqani militant group which the United States says has been behind a string of bombings in Kabul as well as attacks on foreign forces in the countryside.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta blamed the group for the attack on the base and vowed to fight them.

Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Robert Birsel

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