GARDEZ: A suicide bomber on a motorbike struck a joint Afghan-NATO patrol in the town of Khost on Wednesday, killing 17 Afghans and causing coalition casualties, officials said.
The blast in the eastern town close to the border with Pakistan, where Taliban and other insurgents fighting US-led troops have strongholds, also wounded 37 people, hospital officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the government blamed "enemies of Afghanistan", a phrase commonly used by officials to refer to the Taliban.
Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said Wednesday's blast targeted a combined Afghan and coalition patrol passing through Khost, one of the most troubled parts of Afghanistan.
US media reported that more than 100 American troops were treated for injuries after that blast.
Amir Padsha, the director of Khost city hospital, said the bodies of three police officers and eight civilians, along with 17 wounded were brought in.
Babri Gul, the head of the Babri Gul private hospital in Khost, said he had received six bodies, including four members of the same family, and 20 wounded.
Major Martyn Crighton, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed the attack targeted coalition and Afghan forces.
He said it "caused some ISAF casualties", but was unable to say whether the troops were dead or wounded, or provide a number. (AFP)