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Afghan Bomber Hits Medical Facility    12/11 06:22

   KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A powerful suicide bombing targeted an 
under-construction medical facility on Wednesday near Bagram Air Base, the main 
American base north of the Afghan capital, the U.S. military said, and six 
Afghans were reported wounded.

   The attacker struck the facility that is being built to help the Afghan 
people who live in the area, the U.S. military said. There were no coalition 
casualties and the base remains secure, the statement added. 

   No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but both the 
Taliban and the Islamic State group stage near-daily attacks in Kabul and 
elsewhere in Afghanistan. 

   Outside the sprawling base, several homes, mostly belonging to the poor, 
were destroyed. A large mosque in the area was also badly damaged,.

   Shortly after the bombing, Afghan troops, special forces and intelligence 
officers cordoned off the perimeter of the base with armored personnel 
carriers. Heavily armed soldiers kept residents far from the gates to Bagram 
Air Base.

   Within minutes of the suicide bombing, U.S. fighter aircraft bombed the 
area, according to witnesses 

   Earlier reports suggested that a U.S. military convoy might have been the 
target of Wednesday's attack. 

   Dr. Abdul Qasim Sangin, a physician who heads the main hospital in the 
province, said the hospital near the perimeter of the base was on fire. It 
wasn't immediately clear if any foreigners were inside the hospital.

   Gen. Mahfooz Walizada, police commander of Parwan province where the base is 
located, confirmed the attack but offered no details on casualties.

   Sangin said his hospital received six wounded, all Afghans. Five were in 
stable condition and one was critical, he said. Scores more were treated and 
released by medics at the scene. Most were suffering cuts and bruises from 
flying glass and debris.

   The Taliban control or hold sway over nearly half of Afghanistan, staging 
regular attacks that target foreign and Afghan forces, as well as Kabul 
government officials, but also kill scores of civilians.


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