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THE WORLD : Bomber strikes near key U.S. base : The attack in Kabul reportedly kills two Afghans. The military gives no more details.

November 13, 2009|Laura King

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — An apparent suicide bombing outside a major U.S. military base in the Afghan capital killed at least two Afghans early today, witnesses and officials said.

The attack took place on a main road at the eastern edge of Kabul, outside an installation known as Camp Phoenix.

Witnesses said it appeared that at least two military vehicles were caught in the blast. American military officials did not immediately confirm whether there were military casualties, and provided no other details about the attack.

Western troops and Afghan police cordoned off the area where the blast had occurred shortly after 8 a.m., causing an enormous traffic jam on the main highway on the eastern edge of the city. Some emergency vehicles were caught up in the highway blockade, and angry shouting matches among motorists ensued.

The attack was the first major strike in the Afghan capital since the country's electoral crisis ended with President Hamid Karzai being declared the winner of the presidential contest. He was to have faced a runoff Nov. 7 with his main rival, but the other candidate, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, dropped out.

The Taliban had threatened to disrupt the vote with violence.

The weeks leading up to the presidential vote, on Aug. 20, saw a series of bomb attacks against military targets and government installations in the capital.

Karzai is to be inaugurated Thursday.

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laura.king@latimes.com

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