Seven die as Afghan militants target foreigners

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A SUICIDE car bomber and Taliban militants disguised in burkas attacked a compound housing hundreds of foreigners in the Afghan capital yesterday, killing seven people.

The Taliban said the attack was a response to US president Barack Obama’s surprise visit hours earlier.

At least 17 people were wounded in the assault, most of them Afghan children on their way to school, the interior ministry said.

The attack started around 6am in eastern Kabul with a series of explosions and gunfire ringing out from the privately guarded compound known as Green Village that houses hundreds of international contractors.

Shooting and blasts continued for hours as militants who had stormed into the compound held out against security forces.

The area appeared to have calmed down by about 10am and Nato said all the attackers had been killed. The gate at the entrance of the Green Village was destroyed, with the wreckage of the suicide bomber’s car in front.

A car that had been driving past in the first explosion of the attack by the suicide car bomb was caught in the blast and four people inside were killed. A passer-by and a Nepalese security guard were also killed, said Kabul deputy police chief Daoud Amin. The seventh death was not identified.

The explosions happened hours after Mr Obama left Afghanistan following a visit to mark the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. He spoke to troops and signed a pact with Afghan president Hamid Karzai to govern the US presence in Afghanistan through to 2024.

On the ground for just seven hours, he landed in Bagram in darkness before being whisked by helicopter to Kabul, under close guard, for the meeting with Mr Karzai, later meeting troops back at the Bagram base.

“We can see the light of a new day on the horizon,” Mr Obama said. “Our goal is to destroy al-Qaida, and we are on a path to do exactly that.”