Suicide bomber kills 20 Afghan civilians near NATO base

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A suicide bomber on a motorbike struck on Wednesday outside the airport in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar killing 20 Afghan civilians, officials said, in one of the most serious attacks in terms of civilian casualties in recent weeks.
Four provincial governors from the south were at a meeting at the sprawling NATO base at the airport when the attack took place, General Abdul Hameed, Afghan army commander for the southern region, told Reuters.
"The bomb exploded near the airport in a crowded area, killing 20 civilians and wounding 22," said Ahmad Faisal, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
A spokesman for the NATO-led force said he had no immediate information.
Violence has surged across Afghanistan since the Taliban began a spring offensive in April, vowing to target the Afghan government and security forces, as well as the 130,000 foreign troops in the country.
Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, has seen some of the worst attacks.
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