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NATO Convoy Attacked in Afghanistan, Casualties Reported

By Ayaz Gul August 02, 2017

NATO's military mission confirms an attack Wednesday on its convoy in southern Afghanistan has caused casualties.

"We are working to gather additional information as quickly as possible and will release more details as appropriate," the alliance said in a statement released from its headquarters in Kabul.

A provincial government statement said the convoy was carrying foreign troops to the airport through the Kandahar city when a suicide car bomber struck it. It said the blast damaged one of the vehicles, but would not discuss further details.

Witnesses and residents reported the powerful explosion killed and wounded people, but exact casualty toll was not known immediately.

Civilians were also reportedly present in the area where the NATO convoy was attacked.

The Taliban took credit for the bombing in Kandahar, a region known as the birthplace of the Islamist insurgency.

A spokesman, Qari Yousaf, in a statement sent to reporters claimed the powerful blast destroyed several military vehicles and killed at least 15 personnel of the "foreign occupation forces", referring to U.S.-led NATO forces.

The Taliban often issues inflated casualty tolls that later turn out to be untrue.

Kandahar hosts a major American military base and shares the border with Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Afghan officials said Wednesday the death toll in the overnight suicide attack on a Shi'ite mosque in the western city of Herat has risen to at least 31, including two children. More than 60 people were also wounded in the incident.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Eyewitnesses said two armed suicide bombers carried entered the mosque during Tuesday evening prayer time and opened fire on several hundred worshipers in the main hail before blowing themselves up.

The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has condemned the attack, saying deliberately targeting civilians at prayer can have no justification whatsoever.

"Fanning terror and sectarian violence against a specific community is abhorrent and those responsible must be brought to account," said Tadamichi Yamamoto in a statement issue in Kabul .

UNAMA says it has documented at least five attacks this year targeting Shi'ite mosques and religious gatherings in Afghanistan.

IS has taken credit for plotting three of those attacks.

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