A suicide car bombing targeted a NATO military convoy in the Taliban's heartland of southern Afghanistan today, killing three civilians, police said.
NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) could not immediately confirm the incident, which police said took place on a highway linking the southern city of Kandahar to the Pakistani border.
The road also links Kandahar to the biggest US-run base in Afghanistan at Kandahar Air Field.
"Three people, all civilians, have been killed and about nine others injured," Zalmai Ayoubi, a spokesman for the provincial government said, updating his earlier toll of 12 injured.
He said the bomber targeted a NATO military convoy. "There has been a suicide car bomb along the road between the air field and the city. There have been some casualties but the numbers are yet to be determined," regional police commander General Shafiq Afzali said.
He could not say if foreign troops had suffered any casualties. Police said children were among those injured.
Suicide bombings are a key insurgent tactic against Western military forces and Afghan targets. There are more than 1,52,000 foreign, mostly US, troops based in Afghanistan, trying to put down a nine-year Taliban insurgency.
International and Afghan forces are currently engaged in a major offensive in and around Kandahar city, the Taliban's heartland and their former capital.
The eradication of insurgents from Kandahar is seen as key to the counter-insurgency strategy, which aims to enable US troops to start a gradual withdrawal from July next year.