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Suicide Bomb Kills At Least Two North Of Kabul

KABUL (Reuters) -- A suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives outside a government office north of Kabul on December 29, killing at least two people and injuring more than a dozen, an official said.

The attack happened as Afghan provincial authorities and U.S. forces held a weekly meeting inside the office of the governor of Parwan Province in the local capital of Charikar, a politician from the province told Reuters.

A U.S. military vehicle was hit by the blast and was on fire, the politician said, adding that U.S. forces had blocked off the area in Charikar, 60 kilometers north of Kabul.

Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said in Kabul that no provincial officials were killed in the attack, the latest in a spell of intensifying violence this year in Afghanistan.

"The suicide car bomber blew himself up outside the governor's office on the road," Bashary said. "The car belonging to foreigners was his target and the attack has resulted in the deaths of two Afghan civilians, and 18 more were wounded... A translator for the foreigners and possibly some of them have been wounded too."

The incident came a day after 16 people, 14 of them children, were killed in a suicide attack outside a government building in southeastern Khost Province, according to NATO-led forces.

Afghanistan is going through the bloodiest period of violence since U.S.-led troops overthrew the Taliban government in 2001, despite the deployment of more foreign troops.

Nearly 5,000 people, including more than 200 foreign troops, have been killed this year in the country, which some analysts say may slide back into anarchy.

The Al-Qaeda-backed Taliban, who have made a comeback since 2005, are largely active in southern and eastern areas dominated by ethnic Pashtuns, who form the bulk of the militants near the border with Pakistan.