8 Americans killed in Kabul blast
Eight Americans are reportedly among those killed in a car bomb attack against the US-founded Counterinsurgency Academy in the Afghan capital Kabul.
An Afghan army officer on the scene said 22 people, including eight Americans, were killed in the car bomb attack against a NATO convoy, according to a DPA report.
The unnamed officer added that three US vehicles were destroyed in the incident.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.
“We claim responsibility. The attack, which was a suicide car bomb, was carried out by one of our mujahedeen,” Zabihullah Mujahed, a Taliban spokesman told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.
He said the attack occurred at 8:15 a.m., and that the attacker was able to “destroy five foreign vehicles and damage one more.”
Kabul Deputy Police Chief Mohammad Khalil Dastyar said five of the dead and five of the wounded were foreigners. He did not provide nationalities.
Another senior Afghan police officer, meanwhile, said seven foreign troops – five American and two Canadian – died in the attack.
The Interior Ministry, on the other hand, said 12 people died, all of which were civilians, and 47 other civilians were wounded. It said most of the casualties came from a bus that was hit in the explosion.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai described the attack as “heartbreaking”.
“We are condemning the attack in the strongest terms. I hope Afghanistan will soon get out of this suffering, God willing,” he said on Afghan television.
Meanwhile, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) refused to confirm the casualties.
“ISAF Joint Command is working with our Afghan partners to assess an explosion that took place this morning on the Darulaman Road in Kabul,” a NATO statement said.
The attack occurred as Afghan President Hamid Karzai was scheduled to hold a press conference after his recent visit to the United States.
ISAF said police had cordoned off the area and an investigation would be conducted.