Afghan officials say a suicide bomber has killed ten people and wounded seven in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.
Local authorities say the bomber may have been targeting an army vehicle, but set off his explosives in an area where civlians were attending Nowruz gatherings to celebrate the new year.
The attack in the town Gereshk was about 70 kilometers from Marjah, a former Taliban-held city recently recaptured by NATO and Afghan troops. The allied force's southern offensive is aimed at seizing territory in the Taliban's traditional strongholds as part of a larger strategy of pressuring the insurgents to enter peace talks.
Separately, two people were killed and at least two others were injured in an explosion in Khost province in southeastern Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, NATO forces say a patrol of Afghan and international troops killed two suspected militants while pursuing a suspected Taliban commander in Zabul province on Saturday. A NATO statement says the troops tried to stop the men while they were riding a motorcycle. The men fired on the allied forces, who returned fire, killing the two.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.