Motorcycle suicide bomber hits British embassy vehicle in Afghan capital


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A suicide bomber riding a motorcycle struck a British embassy vehicle in Afghanistan's capital on Thursday, killing at least five people and wounding many bystanders, officials said.
The Afghan Taliban, ousted from power by a U.S.-led coalition in 2001, claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest in a wave of bombings to hit Kabul as the majority of foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw from the country by the end of the year.
A Reuters witness saw at least three bodies from the blast in a nearby hospital, but their nationalities were not confirmed.
Health Ministry spokesman Kaniska Turkistani said at least five civilians were killed and 34 wounded. It was unclear whether the five he named included the three bodies in the hospital.
The British embassy confirmed there were "injuries" among those in the vehicle but could not give any other information.
"I can confirm it was a British vehicle and there are some injuries. We are working with the Afghan authorities," said the spokesman, who asked not to be identified.
General Ayoub Salangi, the Afghan deputy interior minister, said the bomber was riding a motorcycle and struck on a main road in eastern Kabul near the Green Village international zone, itself the target of a failed attacked last week by militants with a car bomb and gunmen.
Thursday's blast shredded the four-wheel-drive embassy vehicle, leaving a charred shell lying on its side.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a text message that a suicide bomber "targeted foreign invading forces" and many were killed and wounded.
On Monday, a bomb in Kabul killed two U.S. soldiers as they were traveling in their vehicle.

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