KANDAHAR, Afghanistan A suicide car bomber killed two Afghan civilians and wounded 14 others Thursday near the main U.S. military base in southern Afghanistan, Afghan and American officials said. The attack occurred after the visiting U.S. Defense Secretary had left the facility.
Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the attacker targeted another vehicle that was driving near the gate that provides access to the military side of the city’s airport. He said all 14 wounded were civilians but had no other details.
Taliban spokesman Qari Jusuf Ahmedi claimed responsibility for the attack in an e-mail, saying a suicide car bomber had targeted foreign military vehicles that were stopped near the gate of Kandahar Airfield.
It was unclear whether the attack had anything to do with Panetta’s unannounced visit to Kandahar Airfield.
Kandahar is a huge and sprawling facility that houses more than 20,000 servicemen from 20 countries and has more than 11,000 civilian contract workers.