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Suicide Bomber Kills 15 in Southern Afghanistan

Afghan police say at least 15 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack targeting a private U.S. security firm in southern Kandahar province.

Authorities say at least 11 civilians and four Afghan security guards were killed in the blast today Saturday. At least 26 people were wounded.

On Friday, Afghan police said a suicide bomber killed a district chief and three of his children in Kandahar.

They say the bomber detonated his explosives at the home of the chief of Kandahar's Zhari district.

Violence has surged in Afghanistan over the past year and half as suspected Taleban militants have stepped up suicide attacks and roadside bombings. More than 50,000 NATO and U.S. forces are battling the renewed insurgency in southern and eastern Afghanistan.

On Thursday, U.S. and Afghan forces pressed on with an offensive against Taleban militants in Tora Bora, near the Pakistan border.

Casualty figures have not been confirmed, but Afghan media report 50 militants have been killed. Afghan officials say at least 100 families have fled the area.

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