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Afghan suicide bomber kills police, children

Man drives up to checkpoint on motorcycle before detonating vest.

Afghanistan suicide bomber kills 13Enlarge
An Afghan demonstrator gestures during a protest against the US and the government of Afghanistan in Kabul on May 18, 2012. Hundreds of Afghans, most of them clerics, rallied in Kabul to protest the signing of an agreement that would allow US troops to remain in the country after the planned transfer of authority in 2014. (BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)

An Afghanistan suicide bomber killed 13 people today, including children and police officers, at a roadside checkpoint where many gathered to eat lunch, officials reported.

Two children and three police officers are among the dead, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Unfortunately, as a result of this cruel and inhumane attack, 10 civilians – including two children and three policemen – were martyred while five policemen and one child were injured,” the statement said, according to AFP.

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The attack happened near the Pakistan border in the Alisher district of the Khost province, The Associated Press said

Police and border security guards were checking vehicles when the man approached and detonated his vest.

“The aim of the attacker was to attack both police and civilians,” Gen. Sardar Mohammad Zazia told the AP. “Unfortunately, the majority of the victims are civilian.”

Reuters said the man approached on a motorcycle, and as many as six children were killed.

“The bomber blew himself up in a crowded market, and it was powerful,” Zazia told Reuters.

The general said the attack is the latest in the “lawless tribal areas” in southeastern Afghanistan where the Taliban enjoys popular support.

AFP also quoted local officials as saying the assailant shot a security guard before reaching the checkpoint, and the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/afghanistan/120519/afghan-suicide-bomber-kills-police-children