Taliban Hit Kabul on bin Laden Anniversary, Seven Deadإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Taliban bombers attacked a heavily fortified guesthouse used by Westerners in Kabul on Wednesday, in deadly defiance of U.S. President Barack Obama's call that war was ending during a visit to Afghanistan on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death.
Seven people were killed after attackers dressed in burqas detonated a suicide car bomb and clashed with guards at the "Green Village" complex of guesthouses used by foreign organizations including the European Union, the United Nations and aid groups, officials said.
The attackers' ability to penetrate a tightened security cordon in the capital raises fresh concern about the resilience of the insurgency as NATO hands over responsibility for security across the country to Afghan forces and winds down its combat presence in the next two years.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault and said it was a riposte to Obama, just hours after he signed a new partnership pact set to govern Afghan-U.S. relations after 2014.
Police said suicide attackers wearing burqas first blew up a car bomb, then clashed with guards. The interior ministry said seven people were killed, including a student and a security guard.
Kargar Noorughli, spokesman for the health ministry, said 18 people were wounded and eight admitted to hospital, including one in a critical condition and "several children".
"It is a message to Obama that he and his forces are never welcomed in Afghanistan and that we will continue our resistance until all the occupiers are either dead or leave our country," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told Agence France Presse.
After several hours of fighting, NATO said all of the attackers had been killed.
Tuesday's assault came just over two weeks after one of the largest attacks in Kabul, where squads of militants targeted government offices, embassies and foreign bases more than 10 years after the Taliban were driven from power for refusing to hand over bin Laden.
About 87,000 U.S. troops and 44,000 other international forces are deployed in Afghanistan along with 344,000 Afghan army and police, the report said.