Kabul - A suicide car bomber and Taliban militants disguised in burqas
attacked a compound housing hundreds of foreigners in the Afghan capital
on Wednesday, officials and witnesses said.
The Taliban said the attack was a response to President Barack Obama's surprise visit just hours earlier.
least six people were killed in the early morning attacks, officials
said, as blasts and gunfire continued to ring out from the privately
guarded compound known as Green Village that houses hundreds of
A series of explosions and gunfire
rang out near the complex in eastern Kabul at about 06:00 and shooting
continued for hours later. Another large explosion was heard coming from
inside Green Village shortly after 09:00 and a large plume of smoke was
seen rising from the compound.
An Afghan police official said
two suicide attackers were still inside Green Village and were
"resisting". The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was
not authorized to release the information.
One of the first
blasts was a suicide car bomb that exploded near Jalalabad road - one of
the main thoroughfares out of the city, said Interior Ministry
spokesperson Sediq Sediqi. A station wagon that was driving past was
caught up in the explosion and four people inside were killed, Sediqi
said. A passer-by and a security guard for a nearby building also were
A young man who saw the explosion said the dead pedestrian was one of his fellow classmates.
was walking to school when I saw a very big explosion. A car exploded
and flames went very high into the air," said 21-year-old Mohammad Wali.
"Then I saw a body of one of my classmates lying on the street. I knew
it was a suicide attack and ran away. I was so afraid."
local resident who saw the attack unfold said the attackers were
disguised in burqas - the head-to-toe robes worn by conservative Afghan
"A vehicle stopped here and six people wearing burqas
entered the alley carrying black bags in their hands. When they entered
the alley, there was an explosion," said Abdul Manan.
explosions happened hours after Obama left Afghanistan after a quick
visit to mark the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. He spoke
to troops and signed a pact with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to
govern the US presence in Afghanistan through 2024.
spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack and
said it was planned on Tuesday night as a response to Obama's trip.
is a reaction to Obama's visit to Afghanistan," Mujahid said, without
elaborating. He said the target was a "foreign military base".
Nato forces spokesperson Captain Justin Brockhoff said there were no indications that any NATO bases were under attack.
Green Village complex, with its towering blast walls and heavily armed
security force, is very similar in appearance to Nato bases in the city.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw a group of Afghan
soldiers enter the Green Village compound, after which heavy shooting
could be heard coming from inside.
Outside the complex, men could
be seen carrying a wounded man covered with blood, apparently pulled
out of the flames engulfing a nearby car.
"These people evacuated
a man from the burning car, two bodies are laying there now and three
or four other victims were evacuated from the school," said Ahmad Zia, a
resident who saw the explosion.
Green Village was also the
target of anti-foreigner protests following the burning of Qurans at a
US base in February. At that time, violent protests raged outside, but
the angry crowds did not breach the compound's defenses.