KABUL - Three NATO soldiers and an Afghan interpreter were killed, along with at least nine civilians, in a suicide bomb attack on a foot patrol in volatile eastern Khost province on Monday, a NATO spokeswoman and local witnesses said.

A witness told Reuters that the blast involved a suicide bomber wearing police uniform, who struck as US soldiers patrolled the city of Khost. A NATO spokeswoman confirmed only that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Hospital officials said nine civilians were killed and 61 wounded.

The blast followed the killing of two Americans on Sunday in an exchange of fire with Afghan forces that may have been the result of a misunderstanding, taking the death toll of US military and civilian personnel to over 2,000 in the 11-year war.

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