An East Texas soldier killed by a suicide car bombing in Afghanistan has been identified as 37-year-old Staff Sgt. Nelson D. Trent of Whitehouse, Texas.

Sgt. Trent died Thursday in the attack at Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Officials said the Taliban car bombing near a U.S. military base came shortly after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta left. Two Afghan civilians also were killed.

An Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman says the attacker targeted a moving vehicle near the access gate to the military side of Kandahar's airport. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack in an email, saying the car bomber targeted foreign military vehicles stopped near the airfield gate.

Trent was assigned to the 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 36th Infantry Division, Fort Worth, Texas.