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At least 26 killed by car bomb near Afghan military base

KABUL, Afghanistan   A suicide car bombing near a military base in eastern Afghanistan that once hosted CIA employees killed at least 26 people Sunday, local officials said, the latest insurgent attack after foreign forces ended their combat mission there.

The bombing hit a checkpoint manned by members of the Khost Provincial Force, an Afghan unit that guards Camp Chapman, said Youqib Khan, the deputy police chief in Khost province. It wasn't immediately clear whether the bomber was trying to get onto the base or what led to his attack, Khan said. A U.S. defense official said Chapman is an Afghan base with some American special operations forces there.

A statement issued by the Khost provincial governor's office offered different casualty numbers, saying that 33 people were killed -- 27 civilians, including 12 children, and six members of the Afghan security forces. Another 12 members of the Afghan security forces were injured, according to the statement. The discrepancy in the casualty numbers could not immediately be reconciled.

The suicide bomber carried out his attack when many civilian vehicles were waiting to pass by on a main road, said an Afghan police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the attack. He said the civilians killed and wounded in the attack were in vehicles waiting for their turn to pass.

Meanwhile Sunday, Afghan security officials said a pair of roadside bombings killed at least 12 civilians in the country's east and north. The Taliban frequently uses roadside bombs and suicide attacks to target Afghan army or police forces across the country.