Two suicide attackers, one driving a fuel tanker, blew themselves up near a US base in eastern Afghanistan today, killing at least 12 people.
The attack around dawn in the town of Sayed Abad in Wardak province, about 40 miles from Kabul, served as a reminder that even after a decade of fighting, tens of thousands of US and foreign troops are still engaged in a war that shows no signs of slowing down despite the start of a withdrawal of coalition forces.
The Nato coalition said no American or coalition troops were killed in the blasts. It confirmed that a number of troops were injured, but did not say how many.
Shahidullah Shadid, a spokesman for the Wardak provincial governor, said one suicide bomber detonated a vest rigged with explosives outside a compound housing the district governor’s office, while another in a fuel tanker detonated his bomb on a road separating the compound from the base.
He said the dead included eight civilians and four Afghan police.
“It was a very powerful explosion. It broke windows all over the area,” said provincial police chief Abdul Qayum Bakizai. “Most of the injuries are from broken glass from the windows of homes and shops. It was so powerful we couldn’t find much of the truck.”
The governor’s office said in a statement that 59 people were injured – two Nato troops, 47 civilians and 10 Afghan police officers.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, which he said was targeting the US base.
Last year, the same base in Wardak was the target of another suicide bombing. That blast, which occurred on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, injured 77 American soldiers and killed five Afghans.
In a separate incident today, Nato said two US soldiers were killed in eastern Ghazni province. It did not provide any further information or details about the deaths.