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Suicide car bomb hits ISAF headquarters in Afghan capital

A POWERFUL suicide car bomb, for which Taliban claimed responsibility rocked the headquarters of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) yesterday, killing at least three Afghans and injuring 85 others, a press release of Interior Ministry said.

"Riding an explosive-laden car, the bomber blew it up in front of ISAF gate at around 08:30 am local time, killing three civilians and wounding 85 others," Interior Ministry said in the press release.

Separately, Defense Ministry, in a statement, put number of the wounded as 91, including one female parliamentarian.

Two civilian cars were damaged due to the explosions and branches of the trees along the road which had been burned while windowpanes of houses nearby were smashed.

Syed Ibrahim, an officer of Afghanistan National Army (ANA), told Xinhua that he had taken five bodies to hospital.

However, doctors at hospitals said that the number of fatalities could go higher as some may succumb to their injuries.

The casualties, according to officials, are innocent civilians who worked either for the multinational ISAF's peacekeeping force, U.S. embassy, Afghan Transport ministry or Afghan national radio and television.

Taliban militants who have vowed to derail the second presidential election in the post-Taliban country, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Zabihullah Mujahid, who claims to speak for the insurgents in talks with media via telephone from undisclosed location, said that a suicide bomber exploded his car full of 500 kg explosive device at 09:00 a.m. local time, killing 24 employees of U.S. embassy and foreign troops besides destroying four vehicles.

ISAF's fortified headquarters is located next to the well-security proved U.S. embassy and well-trenched Presidential Palace.

This is the first time that militants attacked the headquarters of over 90,000-strong multinational NATO-led ISAF in the Afghan capital.

Yesterday's bloody attack occurred amid tight security put in place to ensure security for landmark Aug. 20 presidential election.

Currently a monitoring balloon equipped with cameras launched by ISAF on Kabul space some days ago and installing 47 sensor cameras in different parts of Kabul, the security apparatus have been trying to beef up security measures ahead of the election.


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