Deaths in northern Afghanistan suicide blast

Many Afghan casualties reported in suicide attack targeting patrol of US and Norwegian soldiers in Faryab province.

    A suicide attack on a NATO foot patrol has left 14 people dead in northern Afghanistan, according to local officials.

    The attacker in Wednesday's late morning bombing targeted a foot patrol of Norwegian and US troops filming interviews in a fruit market in Maymana, the capital of northwestern Faryab province.

    "A suicide bomber targeted a group of foreign friends" near a park where a meeting of locals was taking place, provincial governor Abdul Haq Shafaq told the AFP news agency.

    Among the dead were three foreign soldiers, four Afghan police, an Afghan interpreter for the US soldiers and six Afghan civilians including two women and two children, local police sources told Al Jazeera.

    Another 30 Afghan civilians and four US soldiers were wounded in the attack.

    The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

    An on-duty doctor at the Afghan-Turk Hospital in the provincial capital told Afghan media that 21 injured, including Afghans and foreigners, were rushed to the hospital.

    The doctor told the Pajhwok Afghan news agency that most of the injured at the hospital were in critical condition.

    The NATO forces visited the police headquarters in Faryab before heading to a nearby park to conduct interviews, Shafaq said.

    The northwestern province, with a majority Turkmen population, shares a border with neighbouring Turkmenistan.

    Though Faryab has been one of the more peaceful of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, clashes between government and Taliban forces rendered 12,000 villagers from the Qaysar district internally displaced last year.

    Norway contributes about 400 soldiers to the 130,000-strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and Agencies


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