KABUL: A suicide bomber driving a truck of firewood attacked a Nato base in central Afghanistan, killing four civilians and injuring 77 foreign troops, Nato and Afghan officials said on Sunday.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for Saturday’s bombing, which came hours after the insurgent group slammed the United States for dragging Afghanistan into war following the September 11 attacks in the United States.
An eight-year-old boy was among those killed in the bombing at a Nato combat outpost in Wardak province, about 50 km south of the capital Kabul, the governor’s office said in a statement. Fourteen civilians were also wounded.
None of the injuries to Afghans or foreigners were life-threatening, Nato-led International Security Assistance Force said in a separate statement about the attack in Sayed Abad district of Wardak.
“The majority of injured ISAF personnel will likely return to duties shortly,” ISAF said in a statement, adding that although the entrance and perimeter wall of the base had been damaged, the barriers had now been repaired.
In a statement emailed to media, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the truck used in the attack was packed with nine tonnes of explosives and more than 100 foreign troops were killed or wounded.
Doctor Muslim, the governor of Sayed Abad district, said the blast had also badly damaged the buildings that house the district government, and his cook was among the dead.
“The blast was so powerful that it knocked me down from my bike,” said Khan Mohammad, a farmer who was passing by at the time of the attack.
The windows and doors of more than 100 shops and houses were damaged in the explosion, the governor’s office said.
“A big cloud of smoke rose to the sky and foreign troops’ helicopters were landing and taking off in the base for more than five hours after the blast,” said Abdul Karim, a shopkeeper.