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Suicide Bombing in Eastern Afghanistan Kills 10

20 May 2007

Authorities in Afghanistan say a suicide bomber has killed at least 10 people and wounded nearly 35 others in the eastern part of the country.

Interior Ministry officials say the attack occurred Sunday in a crowded market in Gardez, in Paktia province.

Witnesses and officials say the bomber detonated his explosives as a NATO convoy passed by.

A NATO spokesman confirmed there were U.S.-led coalition troops in the area at the time of the blast. It is not clear if any soldiers were hurt. Some witnesses say all of the victims were Afghan civilians.

Saturday, nine people, including three German NATO soldiers, were killed in a similar suicide bombing in the northern city of Kunduz.

The Taleban has claimed responsibility for both attacks.

In another development, officials in southern Ghazni province say Afghan and NATO forces killed 30 Taleban fighters and detained about 10 others in a battle Sunday.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is due to meet with President Bush Sunday and Monday at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

There are currently 37-thousand troops serving in NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. A separate U.S.-led coalition has deployed some 26-thousand troops there, some of whom operate under NATO command.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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