A suicide bomber rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into a British Embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital Kabul, killing at least five people including a British security guard.
A second British security guard and another 33 civilians were injured, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement.
Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry spokesman Seddiq Sediqqi confirmed four Afghans were killed in the attack.
Afghan police said a vehicle packed with explosives rammed the heavily-armoured embassy vehicle, exploding on impact and sending a huge plume of dust and smoke into the air.
The mid-morning attack happened on the traffic-choked road between Kabul and Jalalabad city. Witnesses said at least a dozen civilian cars were damaged by the blast, and the road was strewn with smouldering debris.
Video footage showed the roof of the embassy vehicle had been blown off and flung about 50ft along the road, an indication that it was a powerful blast as the vehicles are built to withstand substantial impact.
Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility in a brief statement.
The area of the blast in eastern Kabul has many foreign compounds and international military installations. In recent weeks, suicide bombers have launched attacks on military convoys in the area and on compounds housing foreign service companies and their international employees.
The attack was the first on a diplomatic target in Kabul for some time.
Back in Britain, a County Durham coroner broke down in tears at the inquest of a special forces soldier who he said “died with a rifle in his hand doing a job that he loved and protecting freedom”.
Captain Richard Holloway, 29, was killed during a daring night-time raid on a Taliban stronghold outside Kabul, Afghanistan, on December 23 last year.
An enemy fighter sprayed a magazine from his Kalashnikov and hit the Special Boat Service (SBS) soldier. His commanding officer, who was referred as Officer C carried him off the mountain side as bullets continued to fly, but said he knew he was already dead.
The coroner for Durham, Andrew Tweddle, wept as he spoke to Captain Holloway’s parents Neil and Jaquie,
Mr Tweddle concluded that Capt Holloway, died from gunshot wounds sustained while on active operational duty in Afghanistan.