Up to 70 injured in attack near Afghan NATO base

A powerful suicide truck bomb exploded near the entrance to a NATO base.

Pul-I-Alam: A powerful
suicide truck bomb exploded near the entrance to a NATO base
on Friday, injuring as many as 70 people, mainly civilians, south
of the Afghan capital Kabul, officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in
Muhammad Agha district of Logar province which took place at
around 8:00am (0330 GMT) Friday.

The blast could be heard for several kilometres
(miles), an AFP reporter in the area said.

Logar`s health director, Mohammad Zarif Nayebkhail,
told AFP that up to 70 people were taken to hospital with
injuries from shrapnel or flying glass.

"Up to 70 wounded have been taken to the main hospital
in the district -- seven of them are (Afghan) security guards
of NATO, the rest are civilians," he said. "Several of the
wounded were in a serious condition."

Logar`s deputy police chief Mohammad Abed described
the blast as "huge."

"The suicide attacker wanted to ram his
explosive-laden vehicle into the coalition forces base but he
was stopped at the gate and detonated the truck outside the
base," he said.

He put the provisional toll of those injured at five
-- three police and two NDS (Afghan intelligence) personnel --
adding that some houses had been destroyed by the blast.

A spokesman for NATO`s US-led International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed a car bombing in the
district but said they were still "gathering information".

He could not confirm that ISAF was the target or the
number of casualties.