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Six die in Kabul blasts

world Updated: Jan 17, 2009 23:25 IST

A suicide car bomb attack on a heavily guarded road between the German Embassy and a US military base in the Afghan capital killed two Afghan civilians and wounded five US troops on Saturday, officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility and said the bomber targeted German military personnel.

The US military released a statement shortly after the 9.45 am attack saying two US troops were killed and 12 wounded. But Col. Greg Julian, the top US spokesman in Afghanistan, later said the statement was based on bad information and that five American forces had been wounded in the attack and none killed.

Firefighters and soldiers doused burning vehicles in the street near the base with water. Afghan security personnel and US soldiers carried a US service member out of a window near the blast. Two Afghan civilians died in the blast and 23 were wounded, said Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the Defence Ministry spokesman. The German Embassy shares a small, two-lane road with Camp Eggers, a US base that serves as the headquarters for soldiers training Afghan police and army personnel. Dozens of armed Afghan security personnel guard the street, and blast walls of concrete and sand-filled mesh-wire boxes line the road.

“It did not breach the wall (of the base),” said Lt. Col. Chris Kubik, a US military spokesman. “It was fairly close but I can’t tell you if they were targeting us.”

A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin said “some personnel” were wounded, but he did not give numbers.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said, “The Germans have forces in the north of Afghanistan and they are involved in the killing of innocent Afghans.

Germany has 3,200 troops in Afghanistan while the US has some 32,000 and plans to send up to 30,000 more.