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Suicide Car Bomb Kills at Least Two in Afghan Capital


A suicide bomb attack has killed at least two people in the Afghan capital. The blast follows a week of stepped-up insurgent attacks throughout the country. VOA's Benjamin Sand reports from Islamabad that Afghan officials are once again blaming neighbor Pakistan for the ongoing insurgency.

Major Vincent Passel, a spokesman for NATO's international security force in Afghanistan, provided details of Sunday's attack.

" It happened this morning east of Kabul, maybe six kilometers from downtown," he says.

Passel says the blast occurred in an area primarily used by foreign forces and includes several military bases.

Passel says there are no reports of any coalition casualties, but he confirmed that the blast killed at least two civilians and injured several others.

The entire area has been sealed off by British troops and an investigation is under way.

Kabul was previously considered a relative safe haven despite the violence in other parts of the country. But as attacks surge throughout Afghanistan, security inside the capital has also deteriorated.

Overall, the last week has been one of the deadliest since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taleban regime in 2001 for harboring Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist organization.

Saturday, coalition forces clashed with insurgents in the southern province of Kandahar, the Taleban's traditional stronghold. One coalition soldier and three Afghan soldiers were killed in the fighting, another 26 soldiers were injured. There was no immediate word on insurgent casualties.

Sunday, Afghanistan's foreign minister, Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, claimed fugitive Taleban leaders are directing the ongoing insurgency from inside Pakistan.

The minister's speech echoed repeated Afghan charges that Pakistan is not doing enough to help secure the border and defeat Islamic extremists operating from the Pakistani side.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied the accusation, and insists it is doing everything it can to improve regional stability.

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