Twin suicide attacks hit Afghanistan

Attacks in the capital and the east target foreign troops and the nation's spy agency.

    A NATO helicopter flew down to transport the injured near the American University [Reuters]

    Suicide bombings have hit Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, and Asadabad in the eastern province of Kunar.

    In Kabul, the attacker targeted a convoy of foreign soldiers. Sources told Al Jazeera that seven Americans, three Afghan civilians, and one member of the Afghan national police force were among the dead on Saturday.

    The attacker detonated his explosives just as a military bus carrying US soldiers was passing by.

    Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting from Kabul, said the attack is indicative of an attack where a suicide bomber will "drive up and down the roads waiting for a target."

    The attack took place near the Dar-ul-Aman palace at 11:30am. Officials at nearby Isteqlal hospital reported three wounded under their care in the morning attack.

    Interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui confirmed four Afghan deaths to the AFP news agency.

    Kabul police have identified the civilians as two young students and an adult male cyclist.

    NATO helicopters were seen airlifting the wounded from the attack site in the west of the city.

    "It was a very strong bomb,'' said Gulam Saki, an eyewitness at the scene speaking to the Associated Press. "Three civilians were killed a man, a woman and one child and two bodies are still under the vehicles.''

    In a text message to media outlets, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack.

    "A suicide car bomb attack was carried out on a bus of foreign forces in the Dar-ul-Aman area of Kabul," read the text message from Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid.

    An hour earlier, east of the capital, a female suicide bomber said to be in her twenties blew herself up outside a branch of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) in the provincial capital of Asadabad on Saturday, a local news service report said.

    After waiting at a female-only bus stop for several hours, the chadori (burqa) clad attacker fired at the gate of the NDS offices with a pistol before detonating her explosives, Asadabad police said.

    "A woman suicide attacker detonated her explosives outside the operative directorate of NDS in Asadabad city. As a result of the explosion two guards of the operative directorate were wounded," said Kunar provincial governor spokesman Wasifullah Wasifi.

    Sources tell our correspondent in Afghanistan one intelligence official was shot after the attacker was ordered to stop just short of the NDS gate. The attack left another five people -- two civilians and three security officials, according to hospital statements to local Afghan media - injured.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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