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Suicide Bomber Kills Seven Afghans Outside NATO Base

The suicide bombing came a day after a Taliban attack on government buildings in Khost.
KABUL (Reuters) -- A suicide bomb attack outside a NATO base has killed seven civilians in southeastern Afghanistan, a local official said, one day after a brazen strike by the Taliban in the same town.

Violence has surged to its worst level in Afghanistan since U.S.-backed Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban in 2001, despite increasing numbers of foreign troops

Another 21 civilians were wounded in the May 13 attack by a suicide bomber in a car packed with explosives in Khost town.

An official from the province of the same name said all the victims were laborers working at the NATO base on the outskirts of Khost township.

"U.S. forces...have encircled the area. The toll may rise," provincial official Wazir Padshah told Reuters by telephone.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties among NATO-led troops.

On May 12, a group of Taliban suicide bombers attacked government buildings in Khost town.

Nine Afghans, including members of the security forces, and 11 insurgents were killed in the May 12 attacks, during which gun battles lasting several hours were fought and a government building was seized by the militants.