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


(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
Taliban Attack on Diplomatic Convoy Kills at Least Five


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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