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    Car blast hits NATO facility near Kabul Airport

     KABUL (PAN): An explosives-laden car exploded at the entrance to a NATO troops’ facility on the Qasaba Road near the Kabul International Airport on Wednesday, but there were no immediate reports about casualties, officials said. 

    The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the explosives had been planted in a car, which exploded with a big bang, but caused no human losses.

    The explosion took place near the gate of an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) facility, it said.

    However, ISAF said it was a car suicide bombing. The attacker was shot dead after he attempted to attack an ISAF convoy, the force said in a statement.

    “We can confirm reports of a suicide bomber who attempted to attack an ISAF convoy today,” ISAF spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Latondra Kinley said.  “The attacker was killed and there were no ISAF casualties to report.”

    A Pajhwok reporter at the site saw shattered windowpanes of the airport building, Kaboora Hotel and nearby houses because of the impact.

    The Interior Ministry spokesman, Siddiqui Siddique, told Pajhwok Afghan News the blast occurred in Qasaba area in the limits of 15th police district at around 8:30am, but there were no casualties.

    The explosion took place near Kaboora swimming pool on the Qasaba road, he added.

    A source said a rocket hit the entrance to the Kabul International Airport, which is home to one of the NATO-led command's most important bases, the ISAF Joint Command, which is responsible for the day-to-day management of foreign troop operations in Afghanistan.

    A border police official at the airport, Mohammad Ajmal, said a team had been sent to investigate the incident, adding the investigators had no report so far because foreign troops had cordoned off the site.

    Soon after the blast, Afghan security forces rushed to the blast site and cordoned off the area.

    As usual, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the blast, with the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claiming 10 foreign soldiers were killed in the explosion.

    The attack was carried out by one of their fighters, Mahmoud, in which foreign troop’s two military vehicles were damaged.

    “The explosion comes a day after the country’s intelligence department in Kabul said it had foiled many rebel attacks in the capital,” Mujahid added.

    On Tuesday, the spy service said that 22 insurgents, including a Pakistani suicide bomber and senior Afghan Taliban figures, have been arrested in a plot to attack the Presidential Palace, the Ministry of Defence and the Kabul Airport.

    Deputy Interior Minister Gen. Ayoub Salangi posted on Twitter that a bomb had been planted in a four-wheel-drive vehicle on the northern edge of the airport.