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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 November 2007, 14:20 GMT
Children killed in Afghan bombing
An Afghan official inspects the site of a suicide bombing in Paghman district, 24 November 2007
Italian troops cordoned off the site after the bombing
A suicide bomber has killed at least eight people, including an Italian soldier and three children, in an attack near the Afghan capital, Kabul.

At least nine people, including three other Italian soldiers, were reported wounded in the attack, which targeted a bridge the Italians were working on.

Civilians had gathered round to watch the work in the Paghman district, about 10km (six miles) north-west of Kabul.

It is the latest in a series of suicide bombings by militants in Afghanistan.

Many of the wounded were injured by ball-bearings packed inside the bomb, Afghan police said.

They denied rumours that Italian soldiers had opened fire after the attack.

Suicide attacks are a comparatively recent tool in the armoury of the insurgency there, but they are now far more frequent, says the BBC's David Loyn in Kabul.

There have been more than 130 suicide attacks in Afghanistan this year, by far the highest annual total since the Taleban were pushed from power six years ago.

They are mostly aimed at foreign forces, but aid projects are increasingly targeted, particularly where foreigners can be hit, our correspondent says.

Italy has nearly 2,400 troops serving in Afghanistan.

Most are based in the west of the country, but some have been posted to Kabul to work on reconstruction and development projects.

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