No foreigners believed dead in Afghan blast: U.S. embassy

KANDAHAR (BestGrowthStock) – No foreigners are believed to have died in a suicide bombing that struck a compound of foreign staff in southern Afghanistan, despite initial reports that Westerners were among the dead, the U.S. embassy said on Friday.

“No foreigners were killed that I’m aware of,” U.S. embassy spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.

She said at least two Americans were among the wounded in the attack in Kandahar Thursday.

Britain has said at least one British civilian was also hurt. Western officials say the nationalities of all the casualties have yet to be determined.

The governor of Kandahar, Tooryalai Wesa, said three Afghans were killed in the strike and 26 people, including foreigners and Afghans, were wounded.

Earlier, Afghan officials had said foreign security contractors were also killed. The head of the Kandahar provincial council, Ahmad Wali Karzai, said initial reports were that three foreigners had died in the attack, one of two bombing in Kandahar that night.

The southern city, birthplace of the Taliban movement, will become the center of a major U.S.-led military offensive in coming months.

It has been repeatedly targeted by militants in recent weeks, in what they have described as warnings to NATO troops ahead of the planned offensive.

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(Reporting by Peter Graff in KABUL and Ismail Sameem in KANDAHAR; Editing by Kim Coghill)

No foreigners believed dead in Afghan blast: U.S. embassy