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Asia-pacific

Taliban say foreigners were target of deadly supermarket blast

Video by Florence VILLEMINOT

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-28

A suicide bomb attack claimed by the Taliban rocked a supermarket in the embassy district of Kabul on Friday, killing at least eight people. The Taliban said the blast targeted foreigners.

REUTERS - A suicide attack on a supermarket popular with foreigners killed eight people in the embassy district of the Afghan capital on Friday, the first major attack by the Taliban on civilians in Kabul in nearly a year.

Three foreign women were among the dead, and six people were wounded, Kabul Police Chief Ayub Salangi said. A Reuters reporter saw the body of a child taken away from the gutted supermarket.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast and said they were targeting foreigners including the head of a security company.

Police carried bodies from the blackened hull of the “Finest” supermarket, several hundred yards (metres) from the British embassy, as fires broke out among shattered shelves and scattered food. The wounded were led away wailing.

“We claim responsibility for the attack, and it was carried out at a time when foreigners were shopping, including the head of a security company,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said.

He did not say which firm was targeted and it was not immediately clear if security firm employees were among the dead.

A senior police source told Reuters that officers at the scene had concluded from preliminary evidence that it was a suicide attack.

It was the first major attack on civilians in Kabul since two suicide bombers detonated explosives near the city’s biggest shopping centre and a hotel last February, killing at least 14.

However, there have been several attacks on both foreign and Afghan security forces since then.

Violence in Afghanistan is at its worst level since the overthrow of the Taliban by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late2001 with record casualties on all sides of the conflict and a raging insurgency that has shown little sign of abating.

A “ring of steel” erected around the capital before parliament elections last September has done little to prevent militant attacks.

Date created : 2011-01-28

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