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At least 4 dead in attack in Kabul

Kabul, Nov 18 (AP) A least four people were killed in a suicide attack in Kabul early today, the latest in a series of fatal blasts to hit the Afghan capital.

In what appears to have been a complex attack, a small truck packed with explosives rammed the gate of a compound housing foreigners on the city’s eastern outskirts soon after sunrise, said Interior Ministry spokesman Seqid Sediqqi.

It was followed by gunmen, who attempted to breach the compound once the gate had been destroyed, said Sediqqi’s deputy, Najib Danesh.

They said that two security guards were killed, but could not confirm their nationality.

“Two other bodies were found by police, and are mostly probably the attackers who were shot dead by security guards,” Danesh said.

The area where the blast took place has a number of compounds housing foreign contracting and service companies, as well as international military bases but it was not clear which was targeted. The Afghan government’s intelligence agency also has a branch nearby.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said that none of its personnel were injured in the attack.

The country’s First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum was at the site soon after the blast, along with members of the Afghan army’s rapid reaction force.

Dostum said he had heard the blast while exercising and rushed to the area to check on casualties.

The blast, which sent a huge plume of smoke into the sky, was heard across the city. Sediqqi said that gunfire was also heard before the explosion as security guards fired on the truck as it approached the compound gate.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Kabul has been shaken by a series of attacks in recent months, following the inauguration of President Ashraf Ghani.

In the past week, suicide bombers have targeted the chief of police in an attack also claimed by the Taliban, and a high-profile female parliamentarian. Both survived, though civilian casualties were high.

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