Suicide attack kills 21 in Afghanistan

A suicide motorcycle bombing killed 21 people and wounded 22 others Wednesday in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar, police said.

The bomber struck in a parking lot crowded with dozens of trucks supplying the NATO-run Kandahar Air Base and a makeshift bazaar, provincial police chief General Abdul Raziq told AFP.

"All casualties are civilians -- not a single military person," he said, describing most victims as drivers, their assistants and workers.

The Kandahar Air Base is the largest NATO military base in southern Afghanistan, which has been a flashpoint for Taliban insurgents over the past decade.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but similar attacks in the past have been blamed on the hardline Islamists trying to topple the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

Suicide attacks are a common Taliban tactic, along with roadside bombings that often miss their military targets and kill civilians.

Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban, who took power in Kabul in 1996 and ruled for five years before being ousted in a US-led invasion for refusing to hand over al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks.

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