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Last Updated: Monday, 14 November 2005, 17:19 GMT
Twin bombings kill three in Kabul
British soldier secures blast scene in Kabul
International troops helped Afghan police secure the area
At least three people have been killed in two suspected suicide car bomb attacks in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

A German soldier serving with Nato-led peacekeepers died in the first, as did a suspected suicide bomber, police said. At least one Afghan also died.

A second bomb an hour later on the same stretch of road reportedly targeted Greek soldiers. Nato says its troops then foiled an attempted third attack.

2005 had already seen several suicide attacks in Afghanistan, two in Kabul.

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A man claiming to speak for the ousted Taleban said they carried out Monday's attacks. The Taleban claimed the most recent suicide bombing in Kabul, in September.

The BBC's Andrew North in Kabul says suicide bombings have been rare in Afghanistan compared to Iraq, but the nature of the latest attacks is bound to cause heightened concern.

'Suicide acts'

Monday's attacks came on the busy main road between Kabul and the eastern city of Jalalabad.

"Both of the incidents were suicide acts," Gen Mahboub Amiri, chief of Kabul's rapid reaction police force, told Reuters.

The first was just before 1500 local time.

Police say the bomber drove his Toyota Corolla car into International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) vehicles as they travelled on the road leading from the capital.

The route is frequently used by soldiers of the international peacekeeping force and by US-led coalition troops and there are a number of military bases on the road.

Germany's acting foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, confirmed the death of the German soldier.

"I am appalled and deeply shocked over today's attack in Kabul," he said.

Several other people were injured, but casualty figures are still unclear.

'Exchange of fire'

Our correspondent said the road outside the main election compound where the first attack happened was strewn with vehicle parts.

SUICIDE ATTACKS
September 2005 - 12 killed outside Afghan army base in Kabul
May 2005 - 3 killed in Kabul internet cafe
June 2005 - 20 killed in Kandahar mosque
October 2004 - 3 killed in Kabul shopping centre
August 2004 - 10 US security contractors killed in Kabul

Emergency vehicles were swiftly at the scene. British soldiers cordoned off the blast site.

Smoke could be seen rising from the site of the second attack about 100 metres away and flames from burning vehicles lit up the sky as night fell.

Then, minutes after the second attack, a vehicle was driven at speed towards Nato-led troops. Witnesses said there was an exchange of fire and the soldiers forced it to stop but without an explosion.

A spokesman for the Nato-led force said they believed they had killed a suspected attacker, but there are also reports of civilians being injured as a result of the incident.

More than 1,400 people have been killed in violence linked to militants in Afghanistan this year - the worst violence the country has seen since US-led forces ousted the Taleban in late 2001.

Most of the violence has been in the south and east - not in Kabul, where the peacekeepers are stationed.




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