A suicide car bomber struck a NATO convoy on the outskirts of Kabul on Saturday, causing casualties among the NATO service members and Afghan civilians, the U.S.-led coalition said. Afghan officials said three civilians and one policeman were killed.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred near Darulaman Palace, the bombed-out seat of former Afghan kings on the southwest outskirts of the capital. It was the deadliest of two attacks in the day that targeted either the U.S.-led coalition or Afghan government offices in the country.
“Initial reports indicate that there has been a vehicle-borne IED attack today against a coalition vehicle in Kabul,” NATO said in a statement, using military terminology for a car bomb. The alliance said “several” of its service members were among the casualties of the attack, but provided no other details.
Coalition forces have cordoned off the area, and they have not released details on the breakdown of causalities.
A plume of smoke was rising from the scene of the attack, and several Afghan and NATO service members were being treated on stretchers. NATO helicopters landed at the site of the attack to airlift the causalities. The back end of a NATO bus appeared to have been blown apart and was turned into a charred shell.
The Taliban claim came shortly after the attack in a text message to media outlets.
Earlier Saturday, a female suicide bomber blew herself up as she tried to attack a local government office in the capital of Kunar province, a hotbed of militancy in northeast Afghanistan along the Pakistan border.
Abdul Sabor Allayar, deputy provincial police chief, said the guards outside the government’s intelligence office in Asad Abad became suspicious of the woman and started shooting, at which point she detonated her explosives.
There were no other casualties in that attack.
NPR’s Ahmad Shafi contributed to this report, which contains material from the Associated Press