British Council Targeted In Suicide Blasts

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KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 19 (UPI) — Two suicide explosions went off Friday near the British Council in the Afghan capital of Kabul, with casualties reported, authorities said.

CNN reported at least four were injured in the attacks.

One of the attackers set off the first blast after driving his explosives-laden vehicle close to the British Council’s main security gate, CNN reported, quoting Afghan police spokesman Hashamap Stanikzai.

The second attacker then set of explosives concealed in his vest after trying to enter the Council’s compound in the same complex in downtown Kabul where the as the British Embassy is also located.

The attacks were followed by gunfire, the report said, adding a Taliban spokesman saying his group was responsible.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency, quoting an Afghan police officer, reported the explosions and gunfire occurred early Friday close to the Kabul Intercontinental Hotel, scene of a deadly attack June 28.

The Xinhua report did not specifically mention the British Council but quoted another security official at the site as saying a foreign agency office had been targeted. The report said the attacks killed the two bombers and at least two policemen.

A suicide bomber using a truck, struck Thursday at the main security gate of a U.S. military base in Gardez, capital of Paktia Province in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least two local guards and wounding nine others, CNN reported, adding that attack also was claimed by the Taliban.

Also on Thursday, 24 Afghans were killed and 11 more wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in Heart Province in western Afghanistan. Many of the victims were passengers in a bus.

“Insurgents plan attacks such as these without regard for the civilians they kill, looking for the attention of the media,” said Rear Adm. Hal Pittman, spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. “The Afghan people see the selfish destruction the insurgents bring.”

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