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Taliban attack on NATO base kills 7

KABUL — Taliban fighters killed at least seven Afghans and wounded 10 Polish soldiers in a repelled assault Wednesday on a base in eastern Afghanistan, officials said.

A total of 19 people were killed and 63 wounded in the assault and in three other attacks around the country as part of an effort by the insurgents to ramp up their campaign against the international coalition and the government of President Hamid Karzai.

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Major Marek Pietrzak, a Polish military spokesman in Warsaw, said insurgents tried to storm the base in eastern Ghazni city but were repelled. He said the wounded Polish soldiers were hospitalized after the attack, though their lives were not in danger.

Poland’s Defense Ministry said 10 insurgents also were killed in the attack. The Taliban later claimed responsibility for the assault in an e-mail to journalists.

In one of two attacks Wednesday in southern Helmand province, authorities said a suicide bomber blew up a station wagon next to a US military convoy and killed at least three civilians and wounded 15 in the provincial capital city of Laskar-Gah.

In the other Helmand attack, the governor’s office said a suicide bomber rammed a car into an Afghan army base, killing three soldiers and wounding four in the Nad Ali district, officials said.

In the fourth attack, a rocket fired overnight at a parking lot used by truck drivers carrying fuel for the coalition hit a fully laden vehicle, which immediately caught fire, spokesman Abdul Rahman Zhawandai of western Farah province said. The ensuing blaze killed six Afghan drivers and wounded another 10, he said.

Zhawandai said the fire destroyed about 35 of the 40 trucks parked in the lot, where drivers safely spend the night.

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