Afghanistan officials say a suicide car bomb blast has killed four Afghan civilians and a U.S. soldier. At least 19 Afghan civilians and six U.S. soldiers were wounded in the explosion, which went off today in an attack near a U.S. military base in Kabul.
The attack occurred Saturday morning in a heavily fortified area in central Kabul, on a road outside the U.S. military's Camp Eggers training base and the German embassy.
A U.S. military spokesman said the attack killed one U.S. service member and wounded six others, as well as an American civilian. German officials said some embassy personnel sustained injuries.
A witness named Shamsullah described a chaotic scene immediately following the blast. He said several Kabul city workers who were cleaning the road were killed. He said he saw four or five people wounded in the road, crying for help.
A Taliban spokesman later claimed credit for the attack, saying the bomber was targeting vehicles believed to be carrying German officers.
High blast walls line the narrow road outside Camp Eggers, which is the headquarters for troops training the Afghan National Army and police. A U.S. spokesman said the explosion did not breach the perimeter of the base.
Later, Afghan officials in eastern Nangahar province said a suicide bomber targeting a NATO convoy killed one Afghan and wounded three others.
Also Saturday, NATO officials in eastern Afghanistan said a coalition helicopter made an emergency landing in Kunar province. A spokesman said there are casualties reported and the incident is under investigation.
Afghanistan has experienced a surge in violence in the last year as Taliban fighters stepped up attacks aimed at undermining the U.S.-backed central government.
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama supports sending up to 30,000 additional troops in the coming months to try to reverse the growing instability. The deployments would nearly double the number of American troops currently in the country.