More violence erupted in Kabul on Thursday as a suicide attack on a UK embassy vehicle killed at least five people, including one British citizen, and insurgents launched a night assault in the Afghan capital's heavily guarded diplomatic enclave.
In the first incident, an assailant detonated what was initially reported to be a motorbike, but now believed to be a car, filled with explosives by the British vehicle in the Qala-e Wazir district. The subsequent blast destroyed at least four other vehicles and was heard across the city, eye witnesses told Sky News.
A suicide attack targeted a British embassy vehicle in Kabul on November 27, killing at least five people.
Five were killed in the incident and as many as 34 injured, according to the Afghan Health Ministry. A British Foreign Office spokesman told VICE News that the dead included one British national who was a civilian security team member and an Afghan national working for the embassy. A second security team member was injured.
Local journalist Mustafa Deveci posted a number of pictures from the scene of the attack on Twitter.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed the embassy staff deaths in a statement expressing his sadness at the bombing. "I condemn this appalling attack on innocent civilians supporting our diplomatic activity. The families of the victims have been informed and my thoughts are with them. The Foreign Office will do everything it can to support them."
The deceased security team member died in hospital, the injured colleague was in a stable condition, according to a Western security source cited by Reuters.
A video posted by the local TOLOnews agency shows the immediate aftermath of the attack.
The evening attack targeted the International Relief and Development (IRD) compound in Kabul's diplomatic quarter — which is home to embassies, a number of media bureaus and wealthy Afghans. Two insurgents armed with grenades and assault rifles launched an assault on the IRD building, a Kabul-based security contractor told VICE News. The attack was repulsed, killing both men, and a Nepalese guard working for IRD was injured.
At the time of writing, there had been another small explosion in central Kabul and renewed small arms fire, the security source told VICE News. A third attacker was sighted on the second floor of the IRD building, clashing with guards.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, which it described as an attack on "foreign invading forces," Reuters said.
Neither the British embassy nor the Afghan Ministry of the Interior immediately responded to requests for comment from VICE News.
This was the fourth bombing attack since Monday when two American soldiers were killed in a blast. Violence has escalated in the capital as most of a force of NATO troops pull out of Afghanistan ahead of an official finish to combat duties at the end of December.
The Western security source, who asked not to be named, said that he expected attacks on foreign targets to escalate in reaction to a larger, and more active, than expected NATO contingent staying on in Afghanistan through 2015.
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