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Bombing at US Security Firm in Kabul Kills at Least 7 - 2004-08-29

A powerful bomb explosion in the center of the Afghan capital, Kabul, has killed at least seven people, including foreigners. The attack comes a day after a bomb blast in a southeastern province killed 10 people, mostly children.

Afghan officials and eyewitnesses say the explosion in Kabul Sunday evening hit the office of an American security firm, Dyncorp.

The private American firm provides security guards to protect Afghan President Hamid Karzai and non-governmental organizations in Kabul.

The blast, which occurred in the central Shar-e-Naw area of the city, also destroyed several vehicles. Afghan authorities cordoned off the site, and ambulances rushed to the area to transfer the injured to hospitals.

Members of Afghanistan's ousted Taleban are reported to have claimed responsibility. A statement from the Islamic militia says a car bomb was detonated by remote control.

The violence in the capital, comes a day after a powerful bomb ripped through a school in the southeastern province of Paktia, killing nine children and an adult.

A U.S. military statement says that personnel of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan provided immediate emergency medical treatment to the injured. It condemned the attack on civilians and said the coalition is assisting local authorities in the investigation.

No one has claimed responsibility for that attack, but the immediate suspicion fell on Taleban fugitives.

In another development, U.N. spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told reporters in Kabul that a U.N vehicle came under bomb attack in the eastern province of Nangarhar on Saturday. He said the occupants escaped injuries, but U.N. operations there have temporarily been halted. "This improvised explosive device had a remote-controlled system. The U.N. has suspended road missions to Rodat district temporarily, until we have a clear understanding of what actually happened," he said.

The Islamic Taleban is waging a low-level insurgency in an apparent effort to disrupt Afghanistan's presidential elections to be held in October. The violence has killed hundreds of people, including militants, soldiers, election officials and aid workers. The U.S.-led international coalition, consisting of mostly American soldiers, is hunting Taleban militants and their allies to improve security in Afghanistan.