26 Dec 2012

Suicide bomber kills three Afghans

10:33 pm on 26 December 2012

An explosion at an American military base in eastern Afghanistan has killed three Afghan security guards and wounded up to seven others.

The area has seen an increase in militant attacks recently.

A suicide car bomber has killed at least three Afghan civilians near a US military base in the south-eastern Afghan city of Khost, police say.

The city is about 360km south east of Bamyan, where most of the New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan are based.

Police say the attacker drove a minibus packed with explosives towards Camp Chapman, but the vehicle exploded near the entrance as guards opened fire.

There were no coalition casualties, but six Afghans including three guards and three passers-by were injured.

In a statement, the Taliban said they carried out the attack.

Khost, which borders the volatile Pakistani region of Waziristan, has recently seen a dramatic rise in violence.

In October, a suicide bomber killed at least 20 people, three of them Nato soldiers, in the city.

In June, a suicide bomber killed 21 people - including three US troops and a local interpreter.

The Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network regularly mounts large-scale attacks and suicide bombings in the area.