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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Suicide Bomb Kills NATO Soldiers in Convoy Attack

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan -- Two NATO soldiers and several Afghan civilians were killed when a suicide bomber threw himself at the troops in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, witnesses and an army officer said. A NATO vehicle was set alight in the attack in the main bazaar of Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province, they said. Two children were also killed in the attack, a boy and a girl both under the age of 8, The Associated Press reported.

"The bomber was on foot and hurled himself at the convoy of NATO," said Shamsuddin, an Afghan army officer near the scene.

"Two NATO soldiers died and two others have been wounded."

Several bodies of civilians were scattered on the ground, some with limbs blown off, witnesses said.

British troops were among the wounded, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said in London. "We can confirm that a small number of UK soldiers have been injured in an explosion in Laskar Gah... We have no reports of British fatalities," she said.

This is Afghanistan's bloodiest year since a U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban's strict Islamist government in 2001. More than 3,000 people, including more than 150 foreign soldiers, have died in fighting.

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, meanwhile, said that additional NATO forces from member states are needed in Afghanistan to supplement the 31,000 alliance forces currently in the country, and that the NATO mission will only succeed if it can help the Afghan government improve ordinary people's lives, The Associated Press reported.