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Three killed, dozens wounded in Afghan ‘revenge’ attack

GHAZNI, Afghanistan: A suicide car bomber killed three people and wounded dozens near a NATO-run training base yesterday, in an attack claimed by the Taleban as revenge for the execution of its militants.
Several NATO soldiers were lightly wounded, a spokesman for the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said, without giving further details.
A police spokesman said the blast was near “a joint coordination office” for the Afghan army, police and NATO troops in Maidan Shar, the capital of Wardak province, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Kabul.
“From this center they go for military operations,” Abdul Wali told AFP.
The base is close to the provincial governor’s office and two of his bodyguards were among the dead, his spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told AFP.
“We have three killed — two bodyguards of the governor and a 10-year-old girl. Ninety people were wounded, 75 men, 11 women and four children.”
Taleban insurgents claimed responsibility for the blast, saying it was to avenge the execution on Wednesday of four Taleban members on death row in Kabul.
The four executed Taleban members were among a total of 14 prisoners hanged over two days this week in rare mass executions.
The Taleban, who are leading an insurgency against the Western-backed government and 100,000 NATO troops, had warned there would be “heavy repercussions” for government officials if any of their militants were executed.
President Hamid Karzai approved the executions of the men who were sentenced to death “on charges of terror, conducting attacks, explosions and organizing suicide attacks”, the government said.
The executions were condemned by the European Union, the United Nations and human rights groups, with many pointing out that Afghanistan’s justice system is notoriously weak.
The Taleban described the hanged men as “prisoners of war” and had called on the UN and rights groups to prevent their deaths.
On Wednesday, a suicide bomber on foot blew himself up near a NATO base in Kabul’s heavily fortified diplomatic district, killing two Afghan security guards and wounding two government officials.