Afghanistan: 10 Killed, Including 3 NATO Troops

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A suicide car bomb exploded in the middle of a bazaar killing two people, in a string of attacks across Afghanistan that left 10 dead, including three NATO service members and five Afghan policemen, officials said Wednesday.

The blast at a bazaar in eastern Afghanistan's Khost province killed a policeman and an Afghan soldier, provincial police chief Abdul Hakim Eshaqzai said. Four others were injured in the attack in the Dwa Mandala district.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgent group was responsible for the attack, which targeted foreigners. He said 14 people were killed and nine others were wounded, but the Taliban regularly exaggerate casualties caused by their attacks.

In the north, four policemen were killed in an ambush Tuesday night as they were driving through Imam Sahib district along the border with Tajikistan, said Muhbobullah Sayedi, a spokesman for the governor Kunduz province. Violence is on the rise in northern Afghanistan, where pockets of Taliban insurgents are increasingly targeting government workers.

NATO on Wednesday confirmed the deaths of three coalition service members. Two died in the south -- one in a bomb blast Tuesday and another during an insurgent attack on Wednesday. The third coalition service member died Wednesday in fighting in the east.

So far this year, 625 U.S. and international troops have died in Afghanistan, according to a count by The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, at least one de-miner was killed and another was wounded Wednesday morning in Chaparhar district of Nangarhar province when the de-mining team's vehicle hit a roadside bomb, officials from the province said.

Nangarhar province borders Pakistan, where insurgents hide -- out of the reach of NATO ground forces -- and plot attacks on coalition troops Afghanistan.

NATO also reported that it was investigating the possibility that three Afghan civilians were inadvertently killed and one was wounded by coalition forces during combat operations Wednesday in the Sangin district of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.

The coalition said that after the fighting, four Afghan civilians were taken to a NATO base and that three died and one was treated for injuries.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani discussed the fight against Muslim extremism in a phone call Tuesday. The leaders also discussed economic issues and Karzai invited Gilani to visit Afghanistan in the near future, according to a statement released by Karzai's office.