KABUL — A suicide car bomber struck a barrier outside a U.S. base Tuesday, wounding six Afghans and eight American troops hours after gunmen killed four police officers in southern Afghanistan.
The car bombing was the latest attack to hit Kabul, coming a little more than a week after a team of Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers staged an assault that paralyzed the city and left 12 dead. The violence has underscored fears that militants would try to stage attacks ahead of a key international conference on Afghanistan to be held Thursday in London.
The bomber detonated a minivan packed with explosives near Camp Phoenix, an American base inside Kabul, wounding at least six civilians, said Jamil Jumbish, the head of Afghanistan's criminal investigation unit.
The Taliban claimed responsibility and said it was targeting an international military convoy, according to a text message to the Associated Press from a phone number commonly used by the militant group.
NATO forces confirmed a car bomb struck outside the main gate of Camp Phoenix, saying it was aimed at a civilian convoy entering the controlled checkpoint.
Eight American service members suffered minor injuries, according to a statement.
Earlier, four Afghan police officers were killed overnight at a checkpoint near the Information and Cultural Affairs Ministry's directorate in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. The southern area is expected to be a major focus of fighting with the influx of 37,000 additional U.S. and NATO forces.
Taliban militants frequently target Afghan security forces and officials to undermine the U.S.-backed government, but authorities said it was not yet clear who killed the policemen.
Daoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the officers apparently had visitors and an investigation is under way into whether the attack was political or personal.
In eastern Kunar province, a NATO airstrike killed several suspected insurgents maneuvering into fighting position in an area used to stage previous attacks on international forces, the coalition said in a statement.
Between five and 10 militants were killed, said a spokeswoman, Maj. Virginia McCabe.