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12 dead after two suicide bombings near Kabul

This news story was published on September 2, 2012.
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By Laura King, Los Angeles Times –

KABUL — Two suicide bombings Saturday in a restive province near Kabul killed 12 Afghans and injured a small number of U.S. troops, military and local officials said.

In a separate incident, two American service members died in eastern Afghanistan after an insurgent attack, the U.S. military said.

The twin suicide bombings took place in the Sayedabad district of Wardak province, outside the U.S. base where a massive blast last September injured about 80 American soldiers.

The district was also the scene of the war’s worst single-day loss of U.S. lives when an insurgent-fired rocket downed a Chinook helicopter in August 2011, killing 30 Americans and eight Afghans.

The first of the two explosions struck about 5 a.m. at the entrance to Combat Outpost Sayedabad, authorities in Wardak said. The attacker was a suicide bomber on foot, said Abdul Qayuum Baqizoi, the provincial police chief. A short time later, a suicide attacker set off a powerful truck bomb in a bazaar nearby, shattering windows in buildings and damaging vehicles.

In addition to the eight Afghan civilians and four police officers killed, about four dozen civilians were injured, along with 10 members of the Afghan security forces, the police chief said. He identified the injured NATO troops as Americans.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force confirmed the attack but did not disclose the number of wounded or the troops’ nationalities. A spokesman said their injuries were not serious.

The insurgent attack that killed the two Americans occurred in Ghazni province, according to a U.S. military statement. Ghazni, midway between the capital, Kabul, and the main southern city of Kandahar, has been the scene of many clashes this summer between Taliban militants and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization force.

The NATO force usually announces troop deaths. When U.S. military officials make the announcement, it often indicates that the troops involved were members of special operations forces.

The deaths were the first of the month among Western troops. The toll in August was the highest for any month this year for both the U.S. military and the NATO force as a whole.

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