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Kandahar blast death toll rises

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- A suicide bomb attack outside the U.N. refugee agency in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Monday killed six people, officials said.

Four attackers died in an ensuing gun battle with Afghan security forces, CNN reported. Earlier reports said an explosives-laden truck blew up outside the U.S. International Relief and Development instead of the nearby U.N. refugee agency.

Those killed in the attack included three employees of the U.N. agency, two Afghan civilians and one Afghan police officer, CNN reported, quoting the provincial government. The attack also injured five people.

The explosion was followed by a long gun battle with police, who stopped the attackers from breaching the compound, the report said.

The U.N. agency said it was seeking more information on the incident but noted "the fact remains that people working for us have been wounded and killed and the functioning of our Kandahar office seriously disrupted."

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said, "It also underscores the great risks for humanitarian workers in Afghanistan."

Afghan National Army commander Gen. Hamid Wardag said the attack was the work of the Taliban.

Violence by the insurgents has increased sharply in the region as Afghan security forces begin to take control of their country's security responsibility from NATO and U.S. forces.

Three U.S. troops died in an explosion set off by an improvised explosive device Oct. 22.

A suicide car bomber rammed the vehicle into a NATO armored bus in Kabul Saturday, killing 17 people, including 13 foreigners, most of them Americans, and four Afghans.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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