Suicide Bombers Attack International Convoy in Kabul

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KABUL, Afghanistan -- In the first major attack in Kabul since July, insurgents struck at an international convoy on Friday as it passed a heavily fortified residential compound, killing an Afghan man and woman who were in the area and injuring at least four other people, officials said.

Suicide attackers detonated a car bomb around 5 p.m. near the entrance to Green Village, a compound in eastern Kabul that houses American military contractors, European diplomats and United Nations employees, as the vehicles were passing by. After the attack, insurgents attacked the compound, though officials said they were unable to breach its security.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said that the man and woman who were killed might have been related, and that the four injured included three women. Officials from the international military coalition in Afghanistan could not provide further details.

Through a spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the convoy and the compound.

After the deafening explosion, flames reached as high as 65 feet in the immediate area of the attack, witnesses said. Smoke filled parts of the compound, and shattered glass was strewn everywhere. Residents of Green Village took shelter in bunkers. An hour after the initial reports of the attack surfaced, the traffic police had blocked roads leading to the area from central Kabul.

It was the second effort to target coalition forces on Friday. Earlier, a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle blew himself up near a convoy of coalition vehicles in the Bagram district of Parwan Province, an attack that failed to inflict any damage, officials said. The insurgent group Hezb-i-Islami claimed responsibility for that attack.

An eerie silence had enveloped Kabul leading up to the attack, as insurgents failed to execute any major attacks in the city through the late summer. The governor of Logar Province, who was assassinated on Tuesday, was the biggest target taken down by insurgents in recent months, underscoring the relative calm during the latter part of the summer fighting season.

A previous attack on Green Village, in May 2012, claimed the lives of eight people.

Haris Kakar contributed reporting from Kabul

world

This article originally appeared in The New York Times. First Published October 18, 2013 2:01 PM


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