A suicide car bomber and Taliban militants
disguised in burqas attacked a compound housing hundreds of foreigners
in the Afghan capital on Wednesday, killing seven people, officials and
witnesses said. The Taliban said the attack was a response to President
Barack Obama's surprise visit just hours earlier.
least 17 people were also wounded in the assault, most of them Afghan
children on their way to school, the Interior Ministry said.
second major assault in Kabul in less than three weeks, the attack
highlights the Taliban's continued ability to strike in the heavily
guarded capital even when the city is on its tightest security for a
combination of events the Obama visit and Wednesday's anniversary of the
killing of Osama bin Laden in neighboring Pakistan.
attack started around 6 a.m. in eastern Kabul with a series of
explosions and gunfire ringing out from the privately guarded compound
known as Green Village that houses hundreds of international
contractors. Shooting and blasts continued for hours later as militants
who had stormed into the compound held out against security forces,
according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he
was not authorized to release the information.
area appeared to have calmed down by about 10 a.m. and NATO said all
the attackers had been killed. The gate at the entrance of the Green
Village was destroyed, with the wreckage of the suicide bomber's car
sitting in front. The road running past the compound was littered with
shoes, books, school supplies and the bloody ID card of a student from a
The suicide car bomb that
exploded near Jalalabad road one of the main thoroughfares out of the
city was among the first blasts in Wednesday's attack, said Interior
Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi. A station wagon that was driving past
was caught up in the explosion and four people inside were killed,
Sediqi said. A passer-by and a Nepalese security guard were also killed,
said Kabul Deputy Police Chief Daoud Amin. The seventh death was not
A young man who saw the explosion said the dead pedestrian was one of his fellow classmates.
was walking to school when I saw a very big explosion. A car exploded
and flames went very high into the air," said 21-year-old Mohammad Wali.
"Then I saw a body of one of my classmates lying on the street. I knew
it was a suicide attack and ran away. I was so afraid."
local resident who saw the attack unfold said the attackers were
disguised in burqas the head-to-toe robes worn by conservative Afghan
"A vehicle stopped here and six people
wearing burqas entered the alley carrying black bags in their hands.
When they entered the alley, there was an explosion," said Abdul Manan.
explosions happened hours after Obama left Afghanistan after a quick
visit to mark the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. He spoke
to troops and signed a pact with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to
govern the U.S. presence in Afghanistan through 2024.
spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack and
said it was planned Tuesday night as a response to Obama's trip.
"This is a reaction to Obama's visit to Afghanistan," Mujahid said, without elaborating.
because such complex attacks usually take significant advance planning,
it is also possible that the Taliban were capitalizing on fortunate
timing. Mujahid said the target was a "foreign military base."
NATO forces spokesman Capt. Justin Brockhoff said there were no indications that any NATO bases were under attack.
Green Village complex, with its towering blast walls and heavily armed
security force, is very similar in appearance to NATO bases in the city.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw a group of Afghan
soldiers enter the Green Village compound, after which heavy shooting
could be heard coming from inside.
the complex, men could be seen carrying a wounded man covered with
blood, apparently pulled out of the flames engulfing a nearby car.
people evacuated a man from the burning car, two bodies are laying
there now and three or four other victims were evacuated from the
school," said Ahmad Zia, a resident who saw the explosion.
Village was also the target of anti-foreigner protests following the
burning of Qurans at a U.S. base in February. At that time, violent
protests raged outside, but the angry crowds did not breach the