- Associated Press - Sunday, June 19, 2011

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan — A suicide car bomber struck a German military convoy in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, detonating explosives that killed three Afghan civilians and overturned at least one armored vehicle, according to officials and witnesses.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.

The bomber blew his vehicle up shortly before 10 a.m. local time on a busy road on the edge of Kunduz city, near the airport. An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw at least one overturned armored vehicle and what appeared to be a civilian car that was mangled in the blast.

Three civilians were killed and 11 were wounded in the blast, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

There were no NATO dead or injured, according to a coalition spokesman, British Maj. Tim James.

The attack comes after a particularly violent day for Afghan and NATO security forces.

On Saturday, insurgent suicide attackers struck a police station in the capital, killing nine people including five civilians before they were eventually gunned down.

Eight NATO service members were killed in Afghanistan the same day. Four died in fighting in the south and east, while another four died in a vehicle accident in the south.

The attacks continue despite assertions by President Hamid Karzai that fledgling peace talks have started between the U.S. and Afghan government and Taliban emissaries. Reports about such talks have surfaced in recent months, but Karzai’s statement Saturday was the first public confirmation of U.S. participation. Publicly, the Taliban say there will be no negotiations until foreign troops leave Afghanistan.

The White House has neither directly confirmed or denied Karzai’s statements.

However, such talks may be gaining momentum after the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday to treat al-Qaida and the Taliban separately when it comes to U.N. sanctions, a move aimed at supporting the Afghan government’s reconciliation efforts.

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