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AFGHANISTAN

Bomb at U.S. base reminder of Afghan war

KABUL | A powerful Taliban truck bomb that wounded 77 American soldiers and killed five Afghans outside a combat outpost served as a reminder on Sunday that 10 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, nearly 100,000 U.S. troops are still fighting a war that shows no signs of slowing down.

No U.S. troops were killed when the massive bomb loaded on a truck filled with firewood exploded Saturday night just outside the gates of Combat Outpost Sayed Abad in eastern Wardak province.

Officials said four of those killed were civilians, including a 3-year-old girl. Another 17 people - 14 civilians and three policemen - were wounded.

The provincial governor said the blast was so powerful it damaged about 100 shops in the Sayed Abad bazaar, located near the military base.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier, they had issued a statement vowing to fight until all foreign troops leave.

The radical Islamic movement, which gave shelter to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda when it ruled Afghanistan, also stressed that it had no role in the Sept. 11 attacks, and it accused the U.S. of using them as a pretext to invade the country.

EGYPT

Military ruler fails to attend Mubarak trial

CAIRO | Egypt’s military ruler and one-time confidant of Hosni Mubarak failed to attend a court session Sunday that was expected to bring highly anticipated testimony about the ousted president’s alleged role in the death of protesters and possibly offer insider revelations about the regime’s final days.

The no-show by Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi was a major disappointment for Egyptians seeking to have the reckoning over the bloodshed reach to the highest levels. It also could reflect hesitation by Mr. Mubarak’s former allies to face him in court and possibly shed embarrassing secrets.

The judge immediately requested Field Marshal Tantawi to return to court Sept. 24.

The report on Egyptian State TV did not give a reason for Field Marshal Tantawi’s absence in court.

But a defense lawyer said Field Marshal Tantawi told the court he was ready to submit written testimony since he was dealing with the fallout after the storming of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo on Friday by protest mobs.

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