Associated Press= KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber attacked U.S. and Afghan forces at a checkpoint in a busy market Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan, killing 21 people, including three U.S. soldiers, U.S. and Afghan officials said.
It was the third day in a row the Americans were targeted by insurgents as persistent violence complicates efforts to train Afghans to take over their own security in preparation for the withdrawal of most combat troops at the end of 2014.
Afghan officials initially said a car bomber struck a military convoy, but NATO spokesman Maj. Martyn Crighton, said the attacker hit Afghan and coalition forces at a checkpoint in the city of Khost.
"There was a convoy in the vicinity that responded to the attack," Crighton said.
By Elyas Wahadat
KHOST, Afghanistan | Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:09am EDT
(Reuters) - - A suicide bomber struck a security checkpoint in Afghanistan's city of Khost on Wednesday, killing at least 16 people and wounding 30, police said, the latest attack to raise questions about stability in the volatile eastern region bordering Pakistan.
A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said the casualties included foreign troops, but declined to say how many and whether that meant deaths or injuries.
Sardar Mohammad Zazai, police chief of Khost province, said the bomber, riding a motorbike, detonated his explosives at the checkpoint manned by local and foreign security forces.
The attack took place near a mosque in a crowded part of the city, which lies near the border with Pakistan. Women and children were among the wounded, local officials said.