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Suicide Bomber Kills 7 in Southern Afghanistan

Afghan officials say a suicide bomber has killed seven people, including two Americans, outside the office of a U.S. security company in southern Afghanistan.

Witnesses say the bomber walked up to the compound of security firm U.S.P.I. in the city of Kandahar and blew himself up among a crowd of people. They say the blast killed five Afghan employees of the company as well as the two American contractors.

U.S.P.I. provides security guards to foreign companies working in Afghanistan on construction projects.

Taleban militants claimed responsibility for Wednesday's blast, the latest in a wave of suicide attacks in Kandahar province since late November.

On Tuesday, a suicide bomber rammed his car into a NATO convoy in Kandahar city, wounding nine civilians and two NATO soldiers. There was no immediate word on the soldiers' nationality.

Elsewhere, British forces attacked a Taleban-held valley in the southern Afghanistan province of Helmand. One British marine was killed in the battle and another was wounded.

Most suicide attacks in Afghanistan have been claimed by the Taleban, which was ousted from power during the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters