A Taliban suicide bomber killed 16 people, including 10 civilians and four NATO soldiers, in an attack in eastern Afghanistan Tuesday, officials said, as foreign troops wind down their war against the insurgents.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying one of its suicide bombers had blown himself up near a NATO patrol in the province of Parwan, north of the capital Kabul.

The attack comes as Afghanistan is mired in political crisis, with a bitter row raging over allegations of fraud in the presidential runoff election.

“Four International Security Assistance Force service members died as a result of an enemy forces attack,” a statement from the NATO mission said.

In line with coalition policy, it did not name the nationalities of the victims.

Parwan governor spokesman Waheed Sediqqi told AFP that 10 civilians and two policemen were killed in the attack.

View galleryTraditional drummers perform in the street as supporters …

Traditional drummers perform in the street as supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Gha …

The insurgents said 15 US special forces soldiers were killed. They routinely make exaggerated claims after such attacks.

About 50,000 NATO troops are still deployed in Afghanistan, down from a peak of 150,000 in 2011.

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