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Six Afghan Civilians Killed In Suicide Bombing


Coalition forces in Farah Province, home to the main U.S. base in Afghanistan

Coalition forces in Farah Province, home to the main U.S. base in Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - Six Afghan civilians, including two women and two children, were killed in a suicide bomb attack near the main base for U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan, the Interior Ministry said.

With violence surging in Afghanistan despite rising numbers of foreign troops, a police spokesman in western Farah Province also said at least 10 Afghan guards working for a U.S. security firm were killed by Taliban fighters June 1.

The suicide attack was near Bagram airfield, about 60 kilometers north of the capital Kabul, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemaray Bashary said.

The civilians were travelling in a car on a road in the Sayad area about 5 kilometers north of Bagram, Bashary said. There were no details about the intended target or if the bomber was on foot or had used a car.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but roadside bombs and suicide attacks are common tactics used by the Taliban.

Two Americans, including a soldier, were killed in an attack on a U.S. military convoy on a road leading to Bagram on May 20.

The Taliban have spread their attacks in recent months out of traditional strongholds in the south and the east into previously more secure areas in the west and north and even to the outskirts of Kabul.

The insurgency has grown even as the number of foreign troops has increased to almost 80,000 this year, with the period from late 2007 the worst since U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban's Islamist government from power in late 2001.

In southern Helmand Province, one of the most dangerous in Afghanistan, British forces said they had killed a senior Taliban commander believed to be responsible for a series of suicide attacks against British and Afghan troops in the region.

They said the commander, identified as Mullah Mansur, was killed in a strike by Apache helicopters early on June 1 near the provincial capital Lashkar Gar.

One soldier from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed and two were wounded in an attack in eastern Afghanistan on June 2, ISAF said. No other details were released.

Four ISAF soldiers were killed in two separate roadside bomb attacks in the east on June 1.

In western Farah, provincial police spokesman Abdul Rahoof Ahmadi said the Afghan guards were ambushed by Taliban fighters in Bala Boluk district. The guards were providing security for supply trucks for foreign troops, he said.

Four of the guards' vehicles were also set ablaze.
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