A suicide blast at a checkpoint in eastern Afghanistan has killed at least 13 people, police officials said.

The bomber in Saturday's attack shot a security guard before entering the checkpoint in the Ali Sher district of eastern Khost province and detonated an explosive-laden vest.

"Unfortunately as a result of this cruel and inhumane attack ten civilians including two children and three policemen were martyred while five policemen and one child were injured," a statement from the provincial governor's office read

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"The aim of the attacker was to attack both police and civilians", said General Sardar Mohammad Zazia, provincial police chief.

Amir Badsha Dawran, governor of the Ali Sher district,  told the AFP news agency  that the locals in the area were having regular "friendly" meetings with security forces to discuss various issues including security in the area at the time of the attack.

The injured included four police and one civilian.

The policemen were conducting vehicle searches at the time of the explosion.

The Taliban have claimed repsonsibility for the attack saying 12 Afghan security forces were killed and another nine injured. The group made no mention of civilian casualties.

The attack comes a day ahead of a two-day NATO summit in Chicago where Afghan security past the 2014 international troop withdrawal date will be discussed.

Khost is a volatile province which borders the tribal area of Pakistan, known as a Taliban stronghold and a base for the Haqqani network.

A rocket attack on Friday on a NATO base in Kunar province, also in the nation's volatile east, killed two international soldiers and left another six people wounded.

 

 

Source: Agencies