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Suicide Bomber Kills 7 in Northern Afghanistan


An Afghan police officer who was wounded in a suicide bombing lies in a hospital bed in Baghlan, Afghanistan, November 6, 2011.

An Afghan police officer who was wounded in a suicide bombing lies in a hospital bed in Baghlan, Afghanistan, November 6, 2011.

Two suicide bombers targeted worshippers as they were leaving a mosque in northern Afghanistan Sunday, with one blowing himself up and killing seven people, including a police officer. At least 18 people were wounded in the blast.

Authorities said the second would-be bomber was captured before he could set off his explosives.

The attack took place on the outskirts of Baghlan city, the capital of Baghlan province, following prayers marking the start of the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Taliban routinely targets Afghan officials and security forces, as well as international troops. On Friday, the Taliban issued a statement urging its fighters to avoid killing civilians.

Commander of NATO-led coalition forces, General John Allen, joined Afghan President Hamid Karzai in condemning the bombing. Allen said "it is obvious by these acts that the insurgents do not respect the holy religion of Islam or the people of Afghanistan." He called the attack "despicable."

Mr. Karzai later met with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard who made an unannounced stop in Afghanistan on her way back from the G20 summit meeting in the French resort town of Cannes.

Ms. Gillard's trip came after a rogue Afghan soldier shot dead three and wounded seven Australian soldiers during a parade late last month.

The attack brought Australia's death toll from the Afghan conflict to 32.

Separately, NATO said two of its service members were killed in two separate insurgent attacks. One died Saturday in the south, while the other was killed Sunday in the country's west.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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