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Suicide Bombing Kills Eight In Afghan City Of Kandahar

At least eight people were killed and three others injured in a suicide bombing attack in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, said police officials on Thursday.

The suicide bomber is reported to have detonated the explosives hidden in his horse-drawn cart near the the Continental Hotel when police officers tried to stop him.

The victims of the explosion included a policeman and seven civilians. The blast also destroyed a nearby car, prompting initial speculations that it was used to carry out the attack.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack in the volatile city, which is considered to be a strong hold of the Taliban. Police blamed Taliban insurgents for the bombing and said the target of the attack is not yet clear.

Currently, the Afghan security forces, along with a coalition of foreign troops under the command of NATO and the United States, are struggling to contain a resurgent Taliban in the war-torn country.

There are some 110,000 foreign troops from more than 42 countries in Afghanistan under the commands of the NATO and the United States, fighting Taliban insurgents. The US tops the list with more than 62,000 soldiers.

U.S. President Barack Obama had recently cleared 30,000 additional U.S. troops for Afghanistan, while indicating troop withdrawal from Afghanistan to begin as early as July 2011, after handing over security responsibilities to Afghan security forces.

The U.S. and its allies are currently making serious efforts to get the Afghan security forces ready and capable of handling Afghanistan's security before the international coalition troops eventually withdraw from the country. They believe that a strong Afghan military is essential to fill in the void when international coalition troops eventually leave Afghanistan.

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