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Suicide bomber strikes coalition convoy in Kandahar

December 13, 2012|By David Zucchino and Hashmat Baktash
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta speaks to the troops Thursday during a visit to Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was not at the airbase at the time of the nearby suicide bombing.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta speaks to the troops Thursday during… (Susan Walsh, pool / Associated…)

TARIN KOT, Afghanistan -- A suicide car bomber attacked a coalition convoy near an entrance to the massive U.S. airbase in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing a coalition service member and two Afghan civilians, local authorities said.

Ahmad Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor, said the suicide vehicle struck about 5 p.m. as an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) convoy passed about 100 yards from a gate leading to Kandahar Air Field.

The blast also wounded four coalition service members and 18 civilians, the authorities said.

Taliban fighters strike often with suicide bombs and roadside bombs in Kandahar province, the spiritual home of their movement, which ruled Afghanistan before being driven from power by the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.

An ISAF spokesman in Kabul, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lester T. Carroll, declined to comment on the reports.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday for an unannounced visit to discuss U.S. troop levels with American military commanders. He was not in Kandahar at the time of the suicide attack.

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