Afghanistan's Taleban militia has claimed responsibility for Sunday's bomb attack in Kabul, which killed at least nine people. The Taleban has promised more such attacks before the country's presidential elections. U.S. and Afghan officials are jointly investigating the attack.
Afghan and U.S. military officials have confirmed the deaths of three Americans, three Nepalese and three locals in the car bombing that was apparently aimed at the office of a U.S. security company in central Kabul.
The company, DynCorp, provides bodyguards for Afghan President Hamid Karzai and also helps train the national police.
Speaking at a news conference in the Afghan capital, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, Major Scott Nelson, condemned the attack and said the death toll may rise. "The investigation continues on this. We do not know exactly what the death toll will be," he said. "We are deeply shocked and saddened. We find this a cowardly act."
International workers in Kabul are being warned to keep a low profile, while the U.S. Embassy has advised its citizens to avoid crowded places.
Major Nelson says United States forces provided assistance immediately after the attack, and will assist Afghan authorities in finding those responsible for the attacks. "We rendered emergency medical treatment to some of the injured and assisted with transporting them to medical facilities."
Taleban militants are claiming responsibility for the attack in Kabul, and have promised more such strikes as part of their campaign to disrupt the presidential election, which is scheduled for October 9.
The Taleban was driven from power by a U.S.-led military invasion in late 2001, but its followers have regrouped and continue to carry out frequent attacks on local and foreign facilities as well as on aid and election workers.
An anti-terrorism force spearheaded by the U.S. military has been hunting these militants in an effort to improve security in the country.