Bomb explosion in Kabul

Here I am, sitting in the JEMBS office in Kabul, on my last day in Afghanistan, chatting and joking with some friends, when the bomb explosion gets us straight upright. It is scary, and it feels like a bomb exploded in the middle of the compound.

When we go out we see that the explosion must have been right in front of the office. Dark smoke is coming from outside the compound.

 

In the briefing that follows we are told that this attack was not against the elections but against ISAF. It is always very suprising how quick people seem to know that attacks are not election related. Anyway, the only thing we can do is going back to our computers and hope that we not have to stay here overnight.

When the second bomb goes of an hour later, we are told that it is a "controlled" explosion, but the shooting directly after the explosion, really does not indicate anything controlled about it.
Six hours later we are allowed to go home. All in all a lot of excitement and not really a nice farewell of Afghanistan.

 

The BBC reports the following:

At least three people have been killed in two suspected suicide car bomb attacks in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

A German soldier serving with Nato-led peacekeepers died in the first, as did a suspected suicide bomber, police said. At least one Afghan also died.

A second bomb an hour later on the same stretch of road reportedly targeted Greek soldiers. Nato says its troops then foiled an attempted third attack.

Suicide acts'

Monday's attacks came on the busy main road between Kabul and the eastern city of Jalalabad.

"Both of the incidents were suicide acts," Gen Mahboub Amiri, chief of Kabul's rapid reaction police force, told Reuters.

The first was just before 1500 local time.

Police say the bomber drove his Toyota Corolla car into International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) vehicles as they travelled on the road leading from the capital.

The route is frequently used by soldiers of the international peacekeeping force and by US-led coalition troops and there are a number of military bases on the road.

Germany's acting foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, confirmed the death of the German soldier.

"I am appalled and deeply shocked over today's attack in Kabul," he said.

Several other people were injured, but casualty figures are still unclear.

Our correspondent said the road outside the main election compound where the first attack happened was strewn with vehicle parts.

Emergency vehicles were swiftly at the scene. British soldiers cordoned off the blast site.

Smoke could be seen rising from the site of the second attack about 100 metres away and flames from burning vehicles lit up the sky as night fell.

Then, minutes after the second attack, a vehicle was driven at speed towards Nato-led troops. Witnesses said there was an exchange of fire and the soldiers forced it to stop but without an explosion.

A spokesman for the Nato-led force said they believed they had killed a suspected attacker, but there are also reports of civilians being injured as a result of the incident.

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