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Suicide Bombers Strike In Afghanistan; More Than 20 Civilians Killed

At least 22 people were killed and another 50 wounded in southern Afghanistan today when three suicide bombers blew themselves up in a market near the Kandahar Air Field used by U.S. and coalition forces.

Most of the victims were Afghan civlians, officials tell the BBC.

According to The Associated Press, Afghan officials say: "One suicide bomber detonated a three-wheeled motorbike filled with explosives. ... Then, as people rushed to assist the casualties, two other suicide bombers on foot walked up to the site and blew themselves up."

The attacks happened in an area where "small shops and private security company offices line one side of the road," the AP adds. "Large trucks that supply logistics to Kandahar Air Field regularly park along the other side."

"Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attacks," AP reports.

Al-Jazeera says the attackers may have been targeting fuel tankers.

The BBC writes that the bazaar where the attacks took place "is the last stopping point before the trucks get to the airbase, and would have been very busy when the bombers struck."

Update at 7:50 a.m. ET. Civilians Killed In NATO Airstrike?

From Kabul, the AP is now reporting that:

"Afghan officials and residents say a pre-dawn NATO airstrike aimed at militants in eastern Afghanistan killed civilians celebrating a wedding, including women and children. An Associated Press photographer saw the bodies of five women, seven children and six men piled in the back of vans that villagers drove to the capital of Logar province to protest Wednesday's strike on a house in the volatile Baraki Barak district.

"The villagers say all of those killed had been at a wedding. Afghan government officials said militants were also among the dead. NATO says it has no reports of civilians killed in the overnight raid to capture a local Taliban leader."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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