9 dead, 10 injured in Kabul suicide blast
KABUL (PAN): A suicide bomber exploded his explosives-packed motorbike at the entrance of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the heavily fortified Kabul city on Saturday, killing at least nine people, including military officials and civilians, an official said.
At least 10 more people, including two Afghan army personnel, were wounded in the attack that took place around 9:13am in the Pul-i-Mehmood Khan locality, a police official of the 2nd police district said on condition of anonymity. He said an investigation was underway.
MoD spokesman Gen. Zahir Azeemi told reporters at the blast site that the attacker was riding a motorcycle. The blast inflicted casualties on civilians as many are killed and wounded, Azeemi said, but did not provide any figures.
Taxi driver on the route, Hashmatullah, said his four passengers were injured by flying glass as the blast occurred near his car. He saw many others lying on the road while bleeding in front of the defence ministry.
Pajhwok reporter at the scene said Afghan police and Army personnel removed at 11am eight private vehicles damaged in the explosion.
The suicide attack comes as US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel is in Kabul. Hagel was said to in a safe location at an ISAF facility.
Claiming responsibility, the Taliban said the defence ministry was the target and the attack was a kind of message for Hagel.
On his first trip abroad as defense secretary, Hagel arrived in Kabul on Friday to meet US commanders and troops and hold talks with President Hamid Karzai and Afghan Defence Minister as America's longest war in Afghanistan enters its final stretch.
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