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An Afghan official says at least nine people including four civilians were killed when a suicide car bomber attacked a military checkpoint in southern Afghanistan.

Omer Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor in Helmand, said Thursday a small child and three security personnel were wounded in the late Wednesday night attack in Nahri Sarah district.

Zwak said civilians were in a vehicle passing by when the attacker targeted the checkpoint. Two women were among those killed.

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No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Taliban insurgents are in control of most part of Helmand province.

The violence comes even as Taliban leaders and Afghan government-appointed negotiators are holding historic peace talks in Qatar, a Mideast country where the Taliban set up a political office after they were toppled from power in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. The negotiations, which started earlier this month, are meant to end the fighting and establish a road map for a postwar society.

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