A man from Maine was among three U.S. civilian contractors killed Saturday in Afghanistan by a car bomb that targeted their NATO convoy.

The blast in Kabul destroyed several vehicles, including an armored pickup truck believed to have been used by the contractors. In all, at least 12 people were killed, mostly Afghan civilians. The Afghan government told The Associated Press that 66 people were wounded in the attack.

Among the dead was Corey Dodge, 40, of Garland in Penobscot County, according to a statement by the U.S.-led coalition, the NATO Resolute Support Mission.

Dodge and the two other American contractors worked for DynCorp International, a private military contractor based in McLean, Virginia.

In January, the U.S. Army awarded the company contracts to provide training and mentoring services to the Afghanistan Ministry of Interior and the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense.

Dodge, who grew up in Dexter, was the father of four children. He had been working for the company in Afghanistan since 2006, said Dodge’s mother, Letha Dodge.

Her son, she said, had grown wary about working in Afghanistan because he believed the country was becoming increasingly dangerous. He began his last tour in early July. He planned to return to Maine in October and hoped to work for the Maine State Police.

“He dreaded his last trip there,” Dodge’s mother said. “It was getting so bad. He wanted to be out and be home with his family.”

Funeral services for Dodge will be held Sept. 2 at 1 p.m. at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Exeter. He will be buried at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Dexter.

Dodge, who previously worked in Rockland as a Knox County sheriff’s deputy, had applied to be a state trooper. Letha Dodge said state police contacted his wife, Kelli Dodge, on Sunday and told her that they had accepted him and that he was to start in October as soon as he got back home.

“The loss is hard,” she said. “I never wanted to lose my son.”

Fred Larson, 81, a family friend in Cambridge, described Corey Dodge as a friendly and “rugged” man who was an expert in self-defense.

“He was a nice kid,” he said. “That was a tragedy over there. It’s a crying shame.”

Larson said Dodge was driving the truck at the time of the explosion. He said the bomb exploded on the passenger side of the vehicle and that Dodge was not killed immediately but died of his wounds.

The blast blew glass out of the windows of the Shino Zada Hospital in Kabul and a nearby six-story building.

The attack took place at 4:20 p.m. just as schools were letting out for the day, The Washington Post reported. The crowded neighborhood is just a few miles from the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban, who are fighting to re-establish hard-line Islamist rule more than 13 years after the U.S.-led military intervention toppled their regime, denied it was behind the bombing.

One of the other contractors killed in the bomb blast was identified Sunday as Barry Sutton, a former senior deputy in the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia. The name of the third victim was not immediately available.

According to the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services, 20 Maine service members have lost their lives in Afghanistan since the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S. It’s not known how many civilian contractors from Maine have been killed since then.

The Taliban have stepped up their assaults on Afghan security forces since the U.S. and NATO ended their combat mission. Earlier this month, a Taliban attack near Kabul’s airport killed an American soldier and eight Afghan contractors, according to the AP.

Memorial donations in Corey Dodge’s name may be made to the Maine State Troopers Foundation, 28 Meadow Road, Augusta, ME  04330.

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