Three people were killed and 21 others including three foreign troops, wounded in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province on Thursday evening, an official said.
The bomber struck in front of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Airfield in Kandahar City, the governor's spokesman, Javed Faisal, told an Afghan news agency.
He said the incident took place around 6pm, when the attacker detonated his explosives-laden car. The injured were evacuated to a military hospital. Some are said to be in critical condition.
Giving a witness account, resident Ahmad Shah said the explosion was very powerful and it was carried out on a checkpoint when foreign troops were passing.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with their spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi identifying the car bomber as Saif.
One NATO military vehicle was damaged and eight American soldiers killed in the bombing that occurred when US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was receiving briefing from military commanders, Yousaf said.
But the governor’s spokesman rejected the Taliban claim and said Panetta, after meeting American troops at the airfield, had flown to Kabul before the incident.