Suicide Bomber Attacks NATO Troops In Afghan Park

Afghan officials say a suicide bomber has killed at least 13 people, including three NATO troops, in northern Afghanistan.

An Afghan man carries a victim of a suicide attack in Maymana city of Faryab province, north of Kabul on April 4, 2012. A suicide bomber attacked foreign military forces in northern Afghanistan on April 4, killing up to 12 people, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on foreign troops filming interviews in a park in Maymana, the capital of Faryab province, as NATO's fatalities in the decade-long conflict passed the 100 mark for 2012. NATO's US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said only that three service members died after an explosion in northern Afghanistan, without officially confirming that it was the same incident or giving nationalities.

Afghan officials say a suicide bomber has killed at least 13 people, including three NATO troops, in northern Afghanistan.

The attacker riding on a motorcycle detonated his explosives Wednesday at a park in the city of Maimanah, the capital of Faryab province.  At least 26 people were wounded in the blast.

Afghan police earlier said that four police officers and six civilians were killed.  Western officials later confirmed that three coalition soldiers, including two Americans, were killed. Faryab police chief Abdul Khaliq Aqsai said the coalition troops were filming interviews at the park when the blast took place.

Video footage of the scene showed international troops lying immobile on the ground alongside Afghan civilians and security personnel.  Blood was visible on the ground.

Norway, which has troops in Faryab as part of the NATO force, said none of its personnel were nearby at the time of the suicide bombing.

So far this year, nearly 100 international troops have been killed in Afghanistan. Violence continues as coalition forces have begun withdrawing from Afghanistan and transferring security responsibility to their Afghan counterparts.

NATO is set to hold a summit next month in the U.S. city of Chicago to discuss the future of Afghanistan, including the cost and size of maintaining Afghan security forces.

The United States and Afghanistan are also pushing to sign a long-term strategic agreement defining the U.S. presence in Afghanistan once all foreign combat troops leave the country by 2014.

Afghanistan's minister of commerce and industry, Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi, said he is "optimistic" his country will get a positive response from NATO on support for its security needs.

"I think there's been already discussion of $4.1 billion annual assistance to our security forces and I'm quite hopeful that this will get endorsed in Chicago so that for the next 10 years we will have a more reliable source of funding to support our security forces."

He said he expects a similar response from a conference in Tokyo in July, and that both gatherings will have an important role in the future of Afghanistan.

Ahadi also said Afghanistan continues to work with the United States on the issue of oil imports from Iran.  

The U.S. is preparing to impose sanctions against foreign banks that make oil-related financial transactions with Iran's central bank. The U.S. action, in concert with a planned European embargo of Iranian oil purchases, is aimed at pressuring Iran to abandon its disputed nuclear weapons program.  Tehran maintains its nuclear work is for civilian purposes.

Ahadi said Afghanistan is "quite dependent" on Iranian oil and does not yet have an alternative.  But he said the Obama administration has been "quite understanding" by allowing exemptions if the supply of oil from countries other than Iran does not allow importers to cut Iranian supplies significan