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By Barry Newhouse
30 November 2008
A suicide bomber targeted a German embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital, Kabul, but killed three Afghan civilians and wounded six others instead. VOA's Barry Newhouse has this report from Kabul.
The attack occurred near Afghanistan's parliament Sunday afternoon, close to a Toyota Land Cruiser carrying a group of foreigners.
|A German security man stands guard after a suicide attack on a German Embassy vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, 30 Nov. 2008|
Witnesses said the bomber was on foot when he tiggered the blast. Mohammedajan, a young bicycle repairman, was working nearby at the time of the explosion.
He says I was talking to one of my friends when the blast occurred. After it, he says we flattened ourselves against the ground until the police came.
Afghanistan's parliament is a heavily guarded compound ringed by tall blast walls. The explosion took place some 200 meters away, near a high school and a convoy of NATO troops.
Kabul's police chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi said those killed were civilians.
He says the bomber was targeting a German embassy vehicle. He says none of the officials were wounded in the attack.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned the blast and expressed his condolences to the victims. The suicide bombing is the second in Kabul since Thursday, when a car bomb blast killed four people and wounded some 20 others outside the U.S. embassy.
Afghanistan has experienced a surge in Taliban attacks this year. But in Kabul in recent months, locals have expressed as much concern over a rise in criminal activity as terrorist attacks. For-profit kidnappings, robberies and car-jackings have plagued Afghan businessmen. Kidnappers have also targeted foreigners.
Taliban spokesmen have denied responsibility for many of the crimes, but on Sunday, Kabul's police chief told reporters there is solid evidence of links between some of the capital's criminal gangs and Taliban militants.