- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 26, 2010

KABUL (AP) — A Taliban suicide car bomber struck near a military base in Afghanistan’s capital Tuesday, wounding at least six people, Afghan and NATO officials said.

The militant group claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message to The Associated Press from a phone number commonly used by the insurgent group. The target was an international military convoy, the extremist group said.

An AP reporter at the scene saw the wreckage of a vehicle from afar. U.S. soldiers had blocked off access to the site right outside Camp Phoenix, an American base inside Kabul.

The attacker was driving a minibus laden with explosives that wounded at least six Afghan civilians when it went off, said Jamil Jumbish, the head of Afghanistan’s criminal investigation unit. Jumbish said he had no reports of deaths but added that he did not know if there were any casualties among NATO forces.

NATO forces confirmed an explosion about 5 p.m. local time outside the main gate of Camp Phoenix. A statement issued by the international military coalition said initial reports indicated it was a vehicle-born bomb but did not give further details.

Lt. Nico Melendez, a NATO spokesman, said he did not yet have reports of injuries.

The strike follows on a bold attack last week by Taliban militants on government buildings in the heart of Kabul. The Jan. 18 attack paralyzed the city for hours and left five civilians and Afghan security forces dead, along with the seven assailants.



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