Three NATO soldiers along with 10 Afghans were killed in a suicide bomb attack in the crowded center of Khost City in eastern Afghanistan Monday morning, news agencies reported quoting officials.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing. “A foreign and Afghan force joint convoy was targeted this morning around 9:00 a.m. at the vicinity of Khost Governor Office, while the soldiers were dismounted in the area,” the Taliban said in a statement to the media, reported the New York Times. “The attack was carried out with a suicide vest worn by one of our hero Mujahid, named Shoiab Kunduzi.”
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed that three of its soldiers and an Afghan civilian hired as an interpreter were killed in the attack, reported the New York Times. Among those dead were four Afghan police officers from the Khost Quick Reaction Force.
Citing a witness, Reuters reported that the bomber was wearing a police uniform. At least 61 civilians were reported injured in the attack.
Two American soldiers were killed Sunday in an exchange of fire between the U.S. forces and the allied Afghan troops, pushing the U.S. military deaths in the 11-year war to 2,000.
The last of the 33,000 surge troops sent to Afghanistan nearly two years ago to contain the Taliban insurgency left the country in September in the wake of a rise in the so-called “green-on-blue” attacks.
“Green-on-blue," referring to a color coding system used by the military, in which blue refers to the friendly force and green refers to allied forces, is used to indicate insider killings of the U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.