Suicide attack on Afghan ministry kills five (Lead)

October 30th, 2008 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanKabul, Oct 30 (DPA) At least five people were killed and six injured when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-filled vest inside a ministry in Afghanistan Thursday, officials said. Security guards at the ministry of information and culture in Kabul opened fire at the bomber but he managed to enter the building and blow himself up, said a ministry official on condition of anonymity.

“Five people - a woman and four men - were killed,” said Alishah Ahmadzai, Kabul’s deputy police chief.

He also confirmed that the guards opened fire at the bomber. He added that police arrested a man who was believed to have helped the bomber.

Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on their website and said that three of their fighters stormed the ministry when foreign advisers were meeting with Afghan officials inside.

The statement said one of the fighters, identified only as Naqeebullah, detonated his explosives inside the building while two others fled the area after shooting the guards.

The Taliban statement said six guards were killed, but they did not have any information about the foreign advisers.

In another incident, four Afghan police personnel were killed and one was wounded Thursday when their vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb in the Dand district of the southern province of Kandahar, Matiullah Qaneh, the provincial police chief, said.

He blamed “enemies of Afghanistan” for the attack, a term often used by Afghan officials to describe Taliban militants, who were ousted from power in late 2001.

Meanwhile, President Hamid Karzai, who is attending a world economic forum in Turkey, condemned Thursday’s bombing in Kabul, his office said in a statement.

“The continued terrorist attacks by the enemies of Afghanistan is a clear sign of their profound hostility with the progress, peace and stability of our country,” Karzai said.

Taliban militants, have recently heavily relied on the use of suicide and roadside attacks as part of their insurgency against the Afghan government and about 70,000 international troops in the country.

About 50 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded in a suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul in July. Three Indian nationals, including two diplomats, were among those killed.

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