Three troops from the NATO-led force were killed and nearly 20 troops and civilians wounded, as a Taliban attacker detonated his car bomb next to an international military convoy on Tuesday, officials said. The statement from the military coalition known as ISAF did not say which nationalities the troops were. The attack happened next to an ISAF base, where many Americans are located. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

ISAF said it will continue to train and advise Afghan security forces “and does not view these incidents as representative of the positive relationship between our forces.” The blast turned several vehicles into twisted metal and bloodied and dazed Afghan passers-by. Good Samaritans scooped up the wounded into their arms and carried them to medical workers. Ashmat Stanikzai, a spokesman for the Kabul police, said 13 Afghans were wounded. More than a dozen vehicles were damaged, the police said.

At least 13 Afghan civilians were also wounded in the attack, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said. He said 17 civilian vehicles were damaged in the blast. A large plume of smoke filled the sky over Kabul, and the U.S. Embassy sounded its “duck-and-cover” alarm. In the aftermath of the blast, Afghan and foreign troops secured the area as fire and rescue vehicles moved in. Investigators inspected an empty black SUV, its windows smashed and exterior pockmarked with shrapnel.

In a separate attack in the country’s east, ISAF said Tuesday that one of its troops died after being shot by an individual wearing an Afghan army uniform. That raises the possibility that the service member died from a so-called insider attack carried out by an Afghan soldier, a serious problem over the last couple of years.

The spike in violence comes as the country’s two presidential contenders continue negotiations to form some sort of national unity government. Afghans first voted in this year’s presidential election in April, and voted again in a two-man runoff election in June.

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