10 killed in suicide blast outside Kabul

Updated: 2007-11-24 21:49

KABUL -- A suicide bombing attack apparently targeting the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) killed 10 people and injured 12 others outside Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday morning, the alliance said.

It occurred at around 10 a.m. (GMT 0530) in Paghman district of Kabul province, some 20 km west of Kabul city.

The ISAF forces were opening a bridge to enhance traffic flow to the Afghan population as the suicide attacker moved wearing civilian clothing along the river, said a statement issued here by the ISAF.

"Once spotted, ISAF personnel moved in to question the individual when the insurgent detonated himself," it said.

One ISAF soldier was killed and three others were wounded in the blast, which also left nine civilians, six of whom are children, dead and nine other civilians injured, according to the statement.

"This is another example that the Taliban extremists forcefully oppose efforts to improve the life of the Afghan people and it is they who must be held responsible for bringing violence to the Afghan women and children," it quoted Carlos Branco, an ISAF spokesperson, as saying.

The NATO did not identify the name and nationality of the deceased soldiers.

Condemning the suicide attack, Afghan interior ministry in an earlier statement said the blast killed six civilians and injured nine civilians and three foreign soldiers.

A Taliban purported spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed, talking to Xinhua via phone from an unknown location, said the Taliban outfit took the responsibility for the attack.

He said some Italian troops was targeted in the incident, in which four soldiers were killed and three soldiers injured.

Rising militancy-related violent incidents in Afghanistan have killed over 5,800 people so far this year, hitting a record high.

The war-torn country has witnessed over 600 roadside bombs and 130 suicide attacks since January this year, indicating a 30 percent increase against the same period last year, according to a UN figure released in mid-October.

Various violent incidents have left Over 1,200 Afghan civilians dead this year, the UN said.

The Taliban, removed from power by the U.S. invasion in late 2001, has waged insurgency against the Afghan administration and continued to attack the international troops deployed in the country.

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