Suicide attack targets foreign troops in Kabul

Other News Materials 6 October 2007 11:00 (UTC +04:00)

( Reuters ) - A suicide bomber attacked a U.S. convoy in Kabul on Saturday, killing two Afghan civilians, an Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman said, but there was no word of any foreign casualties.

It was the third suicide bombing attack in Kabul in the past eight days and comes amid a Taliban offensive coinciding with the holy month of Ramadan.

"I can see fire and smoke coming from the foreign vehicles," said the witness, Ghiasuddin Barez. "The explosion took place about 100 metres (yards) in front of me. There were two black vehicles on fire and people running and screaming."

Two large American-made black four-wheel drive vehicles of the type usually used by non-military staff or diplomatic staff were hit by the blast.

"The attack was on a U.S. convoy," said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary. "Two Afghan civilians were killed and one wounded. We are still investigating. We don't know about foreign casualties at the moment, it will be announced later."

Witnesses said they saw two bodies on the ground and said they appeared to be U.S. civilian or diplomatic staff.

Afghan police cordoned off the area and four U.S. military humvees emerged from the U.S. embassy compound and headed for the site.

A spokesman for NATO forces said it was most likely troops from that force were not involved in the attack.

A U.S.-led coalition force spokesman said he was unaware of the attack, but said a soldier had been wounded by a roadside bomb in another part of Kabul.

After suffering heavy casualties in conventional battles, Taliban rebels have grown increasingly reliant in the last two years on suicide attacks aimed at convincing ordinary Afghans their government and its Western backers cannot provide security.

Afghanistan is going through its worst period of violence since U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban in 2001.