by Abdul Haleem, Yan Liang
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- A suicide bombing that rocked Taliban birthplace Kandahar, 450 km south of the capital Kabul on Monday, left one person dead and injured two American soldiers, provincial police chief said.
"The suicide attack happened inside the compound of Kandahar custom department this afternoon, as a result two U.S. soldiers were injured and their local interpreter got killed," Khan Mohammad Mujahid told newsmen at a press conference.
He also added that a group of the U.S. soldiers were talking to locals inside the custom compound when the suicide bomber strapped explosive device in his body blew himself up, causing the casualties.
However, eye witnesses say that the casualties could be higher than reported.
Meantime, Taliban militants fighting Afghan and NATO-led troops based in Afghanistan have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, who claims to speak for Taliban outfit in talks with media via telephone from undisclosed locations, said that two suicide bombers blew themselves up inside the custom compound, killing 13 foreign soldiers.
However, Kandahar police chief Mujahid has rejected the claim, noting only one suicide bomber blew himself up, leaving one person dead and wounding two foreign troopers.
Kandahar, the former spiritual capital of Taliban militants, has been experiencing spiraling militancy over the past couple of years.
Two explosions struck Kandahar city on Friday, injuring six civilians.
In the militancy-plagued Afghanistan, a district chief was assassinated in the eastern Khost province on the same day Monday.
"Syed Mohammad Khan, the chief of Bak district, was on way to office when unknown armed men opened fire and killed him on the spot," police chief of Bak district Bakhti Gul told Xinhua.
Although the police chief Gul blamed the enemies of peace, a term used by Afghan officials against Taliban militants for the attack, the outfit has yet to make comment.