Four killed, 35 injured in Kabul suicide attack (Second lead)

January 17th, 2009 - 4:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Jan 17 (DPA) Four people, inluding two Afghan civilians and two US soldiers, were killed and 35 injured in a suicide bombing near the German embassy here Saturday, officials said.The attack, which was carried out with a car loaded with explosives, took place in front of the embassy that is adjacent to a US military base, a UN office building and some 200 metres from the presidential palace, officials said.

“So far the information gathered from four hospitals in Kabul says that two Afghan civilians were killed and 23 others were wounded in the attack,” Abdullah Fahim, spokesman for the Afghan health ministry said.

He said several of the wounded people, who were all male, were in a critical condition.

Meanwhile, the US military in a statement said that two US soldiers were killed and 12 others wounded in the attack.

“This was a well-travelled civilian road,” Col. Jerry O’Hara, a US military spokesperson said in the statement, adding: “This incident will only strengthen our collective resolve to aggressively pursue enemy networks before they can hurt innocent Afghans and Coalition forces.”

Several vehicles, including a passenger van and tanker, in front of the embassy’s gate were ablaze and thick smoke was billowing from the area.

Local TV channel Tolo showed several Afghan municipal workers soaked in blood being rushed off the scene by a pick-up truck.

The area, which is one of the city’s main intersections, was cordoned off by Afghan and US military soldiers.

It was not immediately known if the attack was aimed at the German embassy personnel or any if any of the diplomats were among the victims. Embassy spokesmen were not available for comment.

No group has so far taken responsibility for Saturday’s attack, but a Taliban hand in the attack is suspected. The militants were responsible for more than 120 suicide bombings in 2008 in Afghanistan.

More than 50 people including two Indian diplomats were killed in a suicide attack on the Indian embassy in July last year.

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