Nov 21, 2008 8:13 AM
A suicide car-bomber killed nine people and wounded 16, including two US soldiers, in an attack on a government compound in eastern Afghanistan, a government official said.
The Taliban insurgency has intensified over the past two years and the number of foreign troops has gone up to 70,000, about half of them American. Violence has also spread to the west of the country but is still at its worst along the Pakistani border in the south and east.
The bomber blew himself up at the gate of a district government centre in Khost province. Khost is next to Pakistan's North Waziristan region, a militant hotbed.
District government chief Abdul Qayoum said nine people were killed, five of them police and guards, and four civilians.
The wounded US soldiers were from a NATO-led force in Afghanistan, a US military spokesman said.
Such attacks have become relatively common in Khost and Afghan officials have long complained that the bombers are being sent from militant sanctuaries in Pakistan.
But NATO says coordination with the Pakistan military along the porous border has been improving.
In the latest incident, NATO soldiers asked the Pakistani military for help on Tuesday after insurgents from Pakistan attacked NATO and Afghan government posts in Paktika province.
"The Pakistani military then launched a mortar strike on the insurgents' firing location inside Pakistan," NATO said in a statement.
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