14 killed in suicide bombing in eastern Afghan province Khost

      Three NATO soldiers and a high-ranking Afghan police official were among 14 killed in a suicide bombing in Khost city, the capital of eastern Afghan province of Khost, on Monday morning. "Three International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members and an ISAF-contracted interpreter died following a suicide improvised explosive device (IED) attack in eastern Afghanistan today," the NATO-led ISAF said in a statement.

The statement disclosed neither the nationalities of the victims nor the details about the incident under the ISAF policy. "The provincial commander of rapid-reaction police force, Mubarak Shah, along with three Afghan National Police (ANP) officers and six civilians were killed in Monday morning's suicide attack in Khost city," the provincial government said in a statement. The blast occurred at around 8:30 a.m. local time when a joint Afghan and coalition convoy was passing by a busy open area -- Adalat Square in the city some 150 km southeast of Afghan capital Kabul. A total of 37 people including three policemen were wounded in the attack, the statement added. The death toll could rise as many injured remain in critical conditions.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, though the bombing bears the hallmark of Taliban insurgent group. The Taliban launched an annual spring offensive on May 3 against Afghan and NATO-led troops across the country. About 344 foreign soldiers, with majority of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

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