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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 11:58 GMT
Thirteen killed by Kabul car bomb
Buses carrying soldiers have been the target of bombers

At least 13 people have been killed in a suicide car bombing in Kabul, the Afghan defence ministry has said.

The bomber attacked a bus carrying Afghan soldiers during morning rush hour in the south-west of the capital.

The defence ministry said six soldiers and seven civilians were killed and a dozen other people were injured.

It is the third suicide bombing in the city in a week. More than 3,000 people have been killed this year as Afghan and foreign forces battle the Taleban.

It was a big explosion and sent fire into the sky
Eyewitness Akbari Sarwar

Wednesday's blast came a day after a similar attack on a Nato convoy close to Kabul airport injured at least 22 Afghans.

The number of dead in the latest attack is expected to rise as several of the wounded have been severely injured.

A spokesman for the Taleban said the group carried out the attack.


Witnesses said the bomb was in a small car that drew up close to the bus before exploding early on Wednesday.

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The blast also caused gas bottles in a nearby shop to explode, witnesses said.

The bus carrying the soldiers was destroyed in the attack.

"It was a big explosion and sent fire into the sky," said Akbari Sarwar, a journalist who witnessed the bombing, AFP news agency reports.

He described a scene of carnage.

The BBC's David Loyn in Kabul says buses carrying soldiers and police have increasingly been the target of suicide bombers in recent weeks.

In September, 30 Afghan soldiers were killed when their bus was attacked in Kabul.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has just been in Kabul assessing an increase in violence in Afghanistan.

He said the increase was partially due to an offensive against Taleban militants by international troops from the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

Afghan military officials say they need more training and equipment to fight the growing Taleban insurgency.

Pictures from the scene of the blast

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