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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 11:56 pm

At least 6 killed in blasts in Afghan capital

By AMIR SHAH and CHRIS BLAKEAssociated Press

At least six people have been killed in an early morning suicide attack in the Afghan capital, the Afghan government said.

A series of explosions and gunfire rang out in eastern Kabul around 6 a.m. near a private armed compound that houses hundreds of international workers. Shooting continued for hours later and it was not clear if the attack was finished, as another large explosion sounded around 8 a.m.

One of the first blasts was a suicide car bomb that exploded near Jalalabad road - one of the main thoroughfares out of the city, 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, along with a passerby and a security guard for a nearby building.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.

The explosions happened hours after President Barack Obama left Afghanistan after a quick visit where he marked the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. He spoke to troops and met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The fighting appeared centered around the secure residential compound known as Green Village, but it was unclear if the heavily guarded compound was the target. Smoke rose from the area as flames licked the outside of a burning car.

Near the site of the blasts, men could be seen carrying a wounded man covered with blood, apparently pulled out of the flames engulfing the nearby car.

"These 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.