Six Afghan civilians were killed and five others wounded by a suicide bomber in Kabul, the nation’s capital.
The bombing occurred in the Shash Darak area, where the presidential palace, NATO’s headquarters and embassies are located, Seddiq Siddiqui, a spokesman for the interior ministry, said in a phone interview today. Those killed by the teenage bomber included four children and two adults, Siddiqui said in an interview on Al Jazeera television.
Zabihullah Mujahed, a spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility in a phone interview, adding that the bomber had targeted an American intelligence base in Kabul, killing and wounding a number of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency staff.
Siddiqui, the interior ministry spokesman, said on al Jazeera that a motive behind the bombing may have been Afghanistan marking the 11th anniversary of the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the supreme leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance.
Massoud was killed in an al-Qaeda suicide bombing two days before the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
Another motive may have been the U.S. designating the Haqqani Network as a foreign terrorist organization, Siddiqui said in the television interview. The blacklisting allows the U.S. to sanction those who give the Pakistan-based militant group financial and other support.
The Taliban’s Mujahed denied that the Haqqani designation or Massoud anniversary prompted the bombing.
The Haqqani Network has made deadly attacks on U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan.
The U.S. action, announced yesterday by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will be a “big blow” to the network, Siddiqui said on al Jazeera. “We strongly welcomed it.”