Many dead in Afghan suicide blast
Police survey scene of attack in Khost province, 4 March 2008http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7372665.stm
Attacks in the east are on the rise
A suicide bomber has killed at least 15 people and wounded 14 others in eastern Afghanistan, Nato says.
The explosion took place in Nangarhar province close to Pakistan. Nato says Afghan troops are among the casualties.
There were international soldiers in the area at the time of the attack but they were not hurt, the alliance says.
The Taleban, who have been fighting foreign and Afghan troops since they were overthrown in 2001, said they carried out the attack.
The BBC's Alastair Leithead in Kabul says there has already been a significant increase in the number of attacks in eastern Afghanistan in the first few months of this year compared with 2007.
Tuesday's blast occurred in Khogyani district south of the city of Jalalabad.
Reports said officials and villagers were attending an anti-drugs meeting when the bomber struck.
"Insurgents engaged with small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades," Major Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), told the French news agency AFP.
"It appears that when that happened, people went for cover. They [the attackers] snuck a suicide bomber in the midst of the confusion."
An Isaf statement said a number of Afghan troops were among those killed and wounded.
One man who witnessed the attack said he had seen a young boy carrying white papers approach the crowd.
"All of a sudden I saw a big, red flame from among the crowd where the boy was standing and a big explosion followed," the man told AFP.
"People were running and some were screaming. I don't remember much."
Major O'Donnell said Isaf soldiers were in the area but it was not yet clear if they were the target of the attack.
He said no Isaf soldiers were wounded. Other reports from local officials said an even higher number of people had been injured.
A Taleban spokesman said the movement had carried out the attack.
"We claim responsibility for the blast in Khogyani," the man, who identified himself as Qari Sajad, was quoted by AFP as saying.
"It was a suicide attack carried out by one of our friends named Abdullah."
Taleban fighters launched scores of suicide attacks and other bombings last year. Most of those killed were civilians.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan's intelligence chief has said President Hamid Karzai was warned of a plot to assassinate him weeks before Sunday's attack on a Kabul military parade.
Amrullah Saleh told parliament the security services had failed in their duty to prevent the attack, from which Mr Karzai escaped unharmed. Three other people died.
The Taleban say they carried out the attack and that three of their fighters were killed.