Deadly suicide blasts near Nato Afghan base in Wardak

The BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Kabul says the US-run military base was previously attacked in 2011

A twin suicide bombing near a Nato base in central Afghanistan has killed at least nine civilians and four policemen, officials say.

The dawn attack, in Wardak province, destroyed houses and much of a local bazaar, eyewitnesses reported.

The Taliban said they carried out the attack, which left dozens of others wounded.

There are fears of a surge in violence when foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014.

'Massive' blast

In the first attack, a militant on foot targeted a compound housing the local governor's office in the district of Saidabad, officials said.

A truck bomb explosion then followed on a road separating the compound from the Nato base, destroying a number of shops and houses.

"A suicide bomber on foot detonated near the gate of the base in Saidabad, Wardak province, opening the way for a truck suicide bombing that followed him," provincial spokesman Shahiddullah Shahid said.

At least 68 people were wounded in the two attacks. No staff from the Nato base were killed, but two were injured, Mr Shahid said.

He described the truck-bombing as "massive".

Most of those injured were admitted to local hospitals, while at least 10 people with "serious injuries" were taken to Kabul, provincial public health director Ghulam Farouq Mukhlis told AFP.

The Taliban said they carried out the attack.

The BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Kabul says that the same military outpost was attacked late last year, on the eve of the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Five Afghans were killed and more than 80 people, including about 50 US soldiers, were wounded in that attack.

Nato - which currently has some 130,000 troops in Afghanistan - is due to withdraw combat forces in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, with only training troops remaining.

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