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Afghan bomber targets NATO convoy, kills 5 civilians

January 25, 2013|By Alexandra Zavis and Hashmat Baktash | Los Angeles Times

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A suicide car bomber targeting a NATO convoy in the northeastern Afghan province of Kapisa killed five civilians and injured at least 15 Friday, Afghan officials said.

There were no reports of casualties among the personnel in the route clearance convoy, according to the NATO-led force.

But the explosion collapsed two nearby houses, killing and injuring the people inside, said Mehrabuddin Safi, the provincial governor.

Safi said the attack happened early in the morning in Jado Khail, a village in the restive Tagab district.

There were conflicting reports about whether the bomber detonated his car next to the passing convoy or accidentally drove into one of the homes.

The five dead included four members of one family, the Afghan Ministry of Interior said in a statement. Estimates of the number of wounded ranged from 15 to 25, including at least two local police officers, Afghan officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message sent to journalists, saying 12 American soldiers were injured or killed. The militants routinely exaggerate the impact of their  attacks.

Last year, French troops handed over lead responsibility for safeguarding Kapisa to Afghan security forces. France pulled out the last of its combat troops from Afghanistan in December, two years ahead of the end of NATO’s combat role.

Baktash is a special correspondent

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