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US troops hurt in suicide attack

Nearly 80 American soldiers have been wounded and two civilians killed when a Taliban truck bomb struck an American base in eastern Afghanistan, Nato said.

A Nato spokesman said the attack late on Saturday injured 77 Americans and also wounded 25 Afghan civilians.

Officials said the massive blast killed at least two Afghan civilians, including a three-year-old girl.

Nato said no foreign forces were killed in the attack on Combat Outpost Sayed Abad in Wardak province.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, which came on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.

The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who detonated a large bomb inside a truck carrying firewood, Nato said.

"Most of the force of the explosion was absorbed by the protective barrier at the outpost entrance," Nato said, adding that the damage is repairable and that operations are continuing.

Roshana Wardak, who runs a clinic nearby, said eight wounded civilians had been brought in, two of them with wounds serious enough that they were sent to Kabul. Ms Wardak said one three-year-old girl died of her wounds on the way to the clinic.

None of the 77 injuries sustained by the Americans are life-threatening, Nato said. Spokesman Major Russell Fox said that all the international troops at the combat outpost are American.

The truck bombing came hours after the Taliban vowed to keep fighting US forces in Afghanistan until all American troops leave the country and stressed that their movement had no role in the September 11 attacks.

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