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Afghanistan: Blast targeting convoy kills 4 civilians in Kabul

Suicide bomber attacks Kabul convoy, killing 4 civilians

A suicide blast targeting a foreign military convoy has killed at least four civilians in the Afghan capital, authorities said. 

Residents of the Darulaman neighborhood of West Kabul told The Times they heard a loud blast at 11:30 a.m. local time. 

In statements to the media, Ministry of Interior officials said a convoy of U.S. and other forces was the target but that the blast left four civilians dead -- a woman, two children and a man -- and 35  injured.

Mohammad Khalid Feroz, 21, a student near the site of the blast, said he saw "pieces of a human head" on the side of the street. 

The International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan confirmed the attack and said there were no reports of foreign casualties.

Gen. Ayoub Salangi, deputy senior deputy minister at the Ministry of Interior, also confirmed that despite a presence of U.S. troops in the targeted convoy, none were injured in the blast.

In a statement issued on a Twitter account purported to belong to Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, the group claimed responsibility for the bombing.  

The statement, copied on other social media accounts said to belong to the nation's largest armed opposition movement, stated: "A martyrdom seeker detonated [a] hatchback vehicle packed with explosives on a US-NATO convoy near Darulamman intersection … [The] powerful explosion destroyed 2 tanks, killing all invaders onboard inside burning wreckages."

The group has been known to exaggerate the toll of attacks for which it takes credit.

Sunday's blast comes a day after two bombings, including a rare improvised-device explosion, injured civilians and security forces. 

The first, an early-morning blast in the eastern neighborhood of Arzan Qimat, wounded four members of the Afghan National Security Forces. A woman and child were among three civilians injured. Though recent casualty reports cite improvised explosive devices as the leading cause of civilian deaths, they are extremely rare in Kabul. 

On Saturday afternoon, a bomb attached to a police vehicle in the Pol-e Kheshti area of Kabul was reported to have killed one member of the Afghan National Police and wounded another. 

The so-called "sticky bombs" have become an increasingly prevalent mode of attack. 

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

This story was first posted at 1:37 a.m.

2:38 a.m.: This story was updated with information from ISAF and the Interior Ministry, and the purported Taliban statement.

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