Afghans and US Soldiers Killed in Attacks

Kabul - Twelve Afghans died and 59 were wounded in twin suicide attacks Saturday in central Afghanistan, while two US soldiers were killed in a separate incident in Ghazni province.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings in Wardak province that took place near a military base.

The provincial governor's office said one of the assailants blew up his explosives-laden vest at the gate of the Sayedabad district building, while another detonated his truck.

Eight civilians and four police officers were killed, while 47 civilians, seven police officers, three intelligence officers and two soldiers from the NATO-led coalition were wounded, the office said.

However, Major Adam Wojack told dpa: "No NATO fatalities or injuries have been reported despite the (fact that the) incident happened close to the military base in Sayedabad district."

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said via text message: "The first bomber detonated himself at the gate of the US base opening way for the truck bomber." He claimed that dozens of US soldiers were killed and scores more wounded.

Meanwhile, NATO said that two US soldiers died "following an insurgent attack in Ghazni province on Saturday."

The international military coalition confirmed Saturday that a "senior leader" of al-Qaeda, Abu Walid, was killed on August 3 in the district of Watahpur in Kunar province.

"Abu Walid, also known as Amru Mastur al-Ghamrawi, was a Saudi al-Qaeda leader and improvised explosive device expert who participated in numerous attacks against Afghan and coalition forces," the coalition said in a statement.

According to a United Nations report, an estimated 1,145 civilians have been killed and 1,954 injured in the first six months of this year. It blamed insurgents for 80 per cent of the deaths.

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