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10 hurt in Afghanistan suicide attack

February 26, 2013|By Hashmat Baktash

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying Afghan army soldiers Wednesday morning in a western district of Kabul, wounding six of them and four civilians in the second security incident in the capital this week.

As snow fell over the region, the bomber struck while soldiers were boarding an Afghan Defense Ministry bus in the Pul-e-Sokhta area of Kabul shortly after 7 a.m. The wounded were being treated at a hospital and are in stable condition, according to a statement from Kabul’s police chief.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in text messages to reporters.

The attack followed a shooting Sunday in central Kabul, where officers with the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, killed a suicide attacker who was attempting to targeting the agency’s offices with a car bomb, security officials said. No other Afghans were injured in the incident, but it shattered a sense of calm that had taken hold in the capital over the last month.

The incidents signaled the Taliban’s apparent intent to continue attacks on security targets in the heart of Kabul, even with about 100,000 international coalition troops in Afghanistan. The U.S.-led coalition plans to withdraw its combat forces by the end of the next year.

On Tuesday, meanwhile, the coalition was forced to backtrack from earlier claims that Taliban violence had decreased across Afghanistan in 2012, citing a math error.

Coalition officials had said Taliban attacks decreased by 7% in 2012, bolstering U.S. claims that the insurgency was weakening. However, in response to inquiries from the Associated Press, the coalition said it had made a mistake in its reporting and that there was no decrease.

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