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Twin suicide bombing near NATO base in Kandahar kills 23

Two suicide bombers took turns targeting a busy area packed with locals and NATO supply trucks.

afghanistan suicide bombing 2012 6 5Enlarge
Afghan policemen stand at the site of a twin suicide attack in a parking lot holding dozens of trucks supplying the NATO-run Kandahar Air Base on June 6, 2012. (STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

A twin suicide bombing has reportedly killed as many as 23 people close to a major NATO base in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province.

The first bomber struck on a motorcycle, and as a crowd gathered to help the victims a second bomber walked into the crowd with explosives strapped to his body and detonated, provincial police chief General Abdul Raziq told AFP.

The area they struck was described by different media as a car park for trucks supplying the NATO base near the airport and a busy marketplace.

Officials said almost all of those killed — and most of the 50-odd wounded — in the latest attack were civilians, and included shopkeepers and passersby, AFP wrote.

The Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Gen. Abdul Hameed, the Afghan Army core commander in Kandahar told CBS News that four provincial governors were inside the base for a meeting with coalition officials, although it was unclear whether they were the targets.

Reuters wrote that since the Taliban's spring offensive began in April, violence had surged across Afghanistan — much of it in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban.

Western combat troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, with a handover to Afghan troops under way across the country.

Foreign troops are in the process of moving the capital city of Kandahar to Afghan control, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Afghan officials have accused NATO of killing 18 women and children in an air strike in Logar province. 

More from GlobalPost: NATO strike in Logar province killed 18 women and children, Afghans say

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/war/120606/suicide-bombing-nato-afghanistan-kandahar