Taliban claims responsibility for Kabul suicide attack (Third Lead)

January 17th, 2009 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanKabul, Jan 17 (DPA) The Taliban took responsibility of the suicide car bombing near German embassy in Kabul Saturday which killed at least four people, including two Afghan civilians and two US soldiers, and injured more than 35 others, officials said.In a statement posted on their website, the Taliban said that one of their bombers, named Sham-ul-Rahman, carried out the attack, using a Toyota-Corolla car filled with explosives.

The statement claimed that eight German soldiers were killed in the attack, while several German diplomats were among the casualties.

However, Abdullah Fahim, spokesman for the Afghan health ministry said four people have lost their lives while more than 23 were injured in the attack in front of the German embassy, which is adjacent to a US military base, a UN office building and some 200 metres from the presidential palace.

“So far our information gathered from four hospitals in Kabul city says that two Afghan civilians were killed and 23 others were wounded in today’s attack,” Fahim said.

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

The US military also issued a statement in which it said two of its soldiers were killed and 12 others wounded in the attack.

“This was a well-travelled civilian road,” Colonel 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.

The Taliban statement also claimed that the blast destroyed part of German embassy building.

Taliban often provide different accounts for their operations, which are often proven to be exaggerated or falsified.

Taliban militants, who were driven out of power in a US-led invasion in late 2001, have carried out hundreds of suicide attacks in the past seven years.

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 against the Indian embassy in July last year.

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