Suicide bomber kills five in attack on British embassy car in Kabul: officials

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Suicide bomber kills five in attack on British embassy car in Kabul: officials
A closed circuit security camera shows Afghan security forces responding to an attack on a compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. Afghan police say that a loud explosion has been heard in the Afghan capital Kabul, followed by gunfire. Gen. Mohammad Zahir, Kabul's police chief, says that the gunfire Thursday night took place in an area of the city where the First Deputy President Abdul Rashid Dostum has a heavily fortified compound.(AP Photo)
A closed circuit security camera shows Afghan security forces responding to an attack on a compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. Afghan police say that a loud explosion has been heard in the Afghan capital Kabul, followed by gunfire. Gen. Mohammad Zahir, Kabul's police chief, says that the gunfire Thursday night took place in an area of the city where the First Deputy President Abdul Rashid Dostum has a heavily fortified compound.(AP Photo)
A closed circuit security camera shows Afghan security forces responding to an attack on a compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. Afghan police say that a loud explosion has been heard in the Afghan capital Kabul, followed by gunfire. Gen. Mohammad Zahir, Kabul's police chief, says that the gunfire Thursday night took place in an area of the city where the First Deputy President Abdul Rashid Dostum has a heavily fortified compound.(AP Photo)
An Afghan man is seen through the shattered window of a car that was damaged at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, killing several Afghan civilians and wounding more than 30 others, officials said. An embassy spokesman confirmed the attack and said some people in the vehicle were wounded, without providing further details. He added that the vehicle was not carrying any British diplomats. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan security forces inspect a British embassy vehicle which was targeted in a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, killing several Afghan civilians and wounding more than 30 others, officials said. An embassy spokesman confirmed the attack and said some people in the vehicle were wounded, without providing further details. He added that the vehicle was not carrying any British diplomats. (AP Phoro/Rahmat Gul)
An Afghan man and security guard are seen through the shattered window of a damaged car at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, killing several Afghan civilians and wounding more than 30 others, officials said. An embassy spokesman confirmed the attack and said some people in the vehicle were wounded, without providing further details. He added that the vehicle was not carrying any British diplomats. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan security forces inspect a British embassy vehicle which was targeted in a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, killing several Afghan civilians and wounding more than 30 others, officials said. An embassy spokesman confirmed the attack and said some people in the vehicle were wounded, without providing further details. He added that the vehicle was not carrying any British diplomats. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, killing several Afghan civilians and wounding more than 30 others, officials said. An embassy spokesman confirmed the attack and said some people in the vehicle were wounded, without providing further details. He added that the vehicle was not carrying any British diplomats. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, killing several Afghan civilians and wounding more than 30 others, officials said. An embassy spokesman confirmed the attack and said some people in the vehicle were wounded, without providing further details. He added that the vehicle was not carrying any British diplomats. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
An Afghan boy walks near to the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, killing several Afghan civilians and wounding more than 30 others, officials said. An embassy spokesman confirmed the attack and said some people in the vehicle were wounded, without providing further details. He added that the vehicle was not carrying any British diplomats. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. A suicide bomber attacked a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, killing several Afghan civilians and wounding more than 30 others, officials said. An embassy spokesman confirmed the attack and said some people in the vehicle were wounded, without providing further details. He added that the vehicle was not carrying any British diplomats. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
NATO soldiers have their Thanksgiving Day meals at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. This is the last Thanksgiving cerebration before the U.S. and NATO combat mission ends on Dec. 31 this year. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
A NATO soldier brings a drink to a table as he and others have their Thanksgiving Day meals at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. This is the last Thanksgiving cerebration before the U.S. and NATO combat mission ends on Dec. 31 this year. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
NATO soldiers have their Thanksgiving Day meals at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. This is the last Thanksgiving cerebration before the U.S. and NATO combat mission ends on Dec. 31 this year. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
NATO soldiers pick up food at their Thanksgiving Day buffet dinner at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. This is the last Thanksgiving cerebration before the U.S. and NATO combat mission ends on Dec. 31 this year. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
NATO soldiers line up to take Thanksgiving Day meals at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. This is the last Thanksgiving cerebration before the U.S. and NATO combat mission ends on Dec. 31 this year. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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(Reuters) - A suicide bomber attacked a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital on Thursday, killing five people including one Briton, officials said.

The blast in the east of Kabul wounded 33 people, including many bystanders, the latest in a wave of bombings to hit the city as the majority of foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw from the country by the end of the year.

Taliban insurgents, who were ousted from power by a U.S.-led coalition in 2001, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it "targeted foreign invading forces".

Attacks aimed at foreign embassy personnel are less common than the near-daily strikes against Afghan and international military forces on the country's roads.

Britain said that two embassy personnel, including one British national, were among the five killed.

"I am deeply saddened to confirm that a British national civilian security team member and an Afghan national working for the embassy were killed in the incident," Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement, adding that another Briton had been injured.

A Reuters witness saw at least one survivor being led away from the charred shell of the vehicle on foot by a member of the British security force.

Taliban Attack on Diplomatic Convoy Kills at Least Five

SPATE OF KABUL ATTACKS

G4S, the world's biggest security firm, later confirmed one of its staff had been killed in the blast and another injured.

"Next of kin have been informed and we will continue to provide them with support," a company spokesperson said.

"Our thoughts and most heartfelt condolences are with the families, friends and colleagues of those involved in this tragic incident."

The interior ministry initially reported the blast was caused by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle, but later said the attacker was traveling by car.

Thursday's bombing was at least the fourth in Kabul since Monday, when two American soldiers were killed in a powerful blast close to the airport.

While not common, attacks against diplomatic missions and personnel in Afghanistan show a determination to target anyone associated with the U.S.-led mission.

A 25-year-old American diplomat was killed last year in an attack on a convoy in the country's east.

The Indian consulate in the western province of Herat was attacked in May by insurgents with rocket-propelled grenades and suicide vests. Last year, the U.S. consulate in Herat was also attacked with a truck bomb.

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