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Asia-pacific

Taliban claims responsibility for Kabul suicide attack

Video by Nicolas RUSWORTH

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-09

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside Kabul's military airport on Tuesday that killed two Afghan civilians and injured four foreign soldiers. The attack was the second of such scale in less than a month.

AFP - A suicide bomber exploded a car outside Kabul's military airport Tuesday, killing two Afghan civilians and wounding 10 people including four foreign soldiers, officials said.
   
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the incident, the second suicide attack targeting the airbase in less than a month. It was apparently aimed at a convoy of foreign military vehicles.
   
"Two civilians have been martyred, and six (Afghan) civilians have been wounded," Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told AFP.  
   
A ministry statement said two of the injured Afghans were in serious condition.
   
Three American soldiers and one Belgian were also wounded when the car bomb exploded outside the main gate of a base at the airport at 8:30 am (0400 GMT), a military spokesman said.
   
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, claiming the attack, told AFP by telephone that the vehicle bomb had comprised 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds) of explosives.
   
Witnesses said the shell of the vehicle used by the suicide attacker was still burning, spewing a huge cloud of black smoke into the blue autumn sky.
   
Soldiers cordoned off the area, as fire engines and military and civilian ambulances rushed to the scene.
   
"It was a suicide attack outside the main gate of the military base at the airport," said Colonel Koziel Bart, of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
   
Bart said the base had been sealed off. But air traffic resumed after an hour-long suspension.
   
Jan Agha, a shopkeeper in the area, said: "I was sitting in my shop when I saw three SUV vehicles heading towards the ISAF airport."
   
The first two were ISAF military jeeps, he said, adding that the third sped up and followed them as they approached the gate of the base.
   
"As they got close to the (security) concrete blocks outside the gate a huge explosion took place. I think the explosion was in the third vehicle," he said.
   
Nearby, a white sedan was nose-down in a drainage channel, its doors open.
   
The latest attack came weeks after a massive suicide car bomb attack on ISAF's Kabul headquarters, just ahead of elections on August 20 that were overshadowed by Taliban intimidation.
   
The August 15 attack killed seven Afghan civilians on the spot, underscoring the increasingly brazen nature of the Taliban threat as the Islamist militia wages a fierce insurgency against the Western-backed Kabul government.
  

Date created : 2009-09-08

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