Blast near Afghan base kills 3

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden car near a NATO base in southern Afghanistan Thursday soon after a visit by US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, killing three, including a US soldier, and wounding 16, Afghan and NATO officials said.

His spokesman said there was no indication Panetta was the target. Panetta had visited Kandahar Air Base just hours before the attack, meeting US troops before the Christmas holiday. "The attack occurred after the Secretary returned to Kabul," George Little said.

Three foreign soldiers were among the wounded.

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