Suicide Bomber Kills 6 in Afghan Capital

Posted September 8th, 2012 at 5:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Afghan officials say a teenage suicide bomber blew himself up near NATO headquarters in the capital, Kabul, Saturday, killing at least six civilians, including street children.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan condemned the bombing, saying such acts “exploit vulnerable individuals” and coerce them into “committing horrible acts.”

Kabul police said the bomber was 14 years old.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack but said the bomber was a man in his 20s. A spokesman said the target of the blast was the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

The U.S. embassy in Kabul also condemned Saturday's attack. It said if reports that the attacker was a teenager are true, the insurgents reveal they are willing to use “the most impressionable and vulnerable” to carry out their attacks.

Officials say several Western embassies are located near the blast site.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi suggested the bombing may have been the work of the Haqqani network, considered one of the most dangerous militant groups fighting U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The Pakistan-based network has been blamed for a number of high-profile attacks in the Afghan capital, including an attack on the U.S. Embassy last year. On Friday, the United States announced it is declaring the group a terrorist organization.

Saturday's bombing was the latest in a string of attacks to hit the Afghan capital as the nation prepares for the withdrawal of most foreign combat forces by 2014.

The explosion came as Afghans gathered to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the death of resistance commander Ahmad Shah Massoud.

Massoud fought Soviet troops and their allies in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He also led the Northern Alliance, a group of Afghan commanders who fought against the Taliban in the 1990s.

He was killed by Arab al-Qaida suicide bombers posing as journalists on September 9, 2001 – just two days before the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Massoud's assassination was said to be linked to the terror attacks. Some analysts say the resistance commander was deliberately killed by al-Qaida to ensure the Taliban's support after the September 11 attacks.