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Suicide attack kills 10 near NATO base

The attacker struck near the Salerno base of the International Security Assistance Force near the eastern city of Khost injuring 14 others.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2007 15:24 IST

A suicide attack near a NATO base in eastern Afghanistan early on Tuesday killed 10 Afghan civilians and wounded 14 more, most of them workers at the base, a provincial security official said.

The attacker struck near the Salerno base of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) near the eastern city of Khost.

"There was an explosion in the vicinity of Salerno early this morning in Khost province. There were no ISAF casualties. However we are aware of a number of other casualties," an ISAF spokeswoman said.

Police said the number of casualties was not yet clear.

"The suicide bombing was in front of a base of the coalition forces," police spokesman Zemarai Bashary told the agency in Kabul.

On casualties, he said: "We cannot say -- the area was blocked by the coalition forces and no one was allowed in."

Suicide attacks are a hallmark of the Taliban-led insurgency that kicked off when the hardline Islamic movement was driven from power in 2001.

There were nearly 140 such attacks in the country last year, according to US officials. They were mostly aimed at foreign and Afghan forces, but killed more civilians.