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Suicide Car Bomb in Afghanistan Kills 8 བོད་སྐད།


Afghan police say a suicide car bomb attack near the home of a former vice president in Kabul has killed at least eight people and wounded 40 others.

Authorities say the attacker appeared to be targeting former vice president Ahmad Zia Massoud - the brother of Taliban opponent and famed guerrilla fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was killed by al Qaida two days before the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The former vice president survived Tuesday's blast, but two of his bodyguards were killed. There are also suspicions the bomber may have been targeting a nearby fortified hotel, Heetal Hotel, frequented by foreigners.

The blast shook buildings throughout the upscale neighborhood of Wazir Akbar Khan, where embassies and Western aid groups have offices.

No Taliban faction has claimed responsibility.

The attack occurred as lawmakers and foreign envoys gathered elsewhere in Kabul for a conference on countering rampant government corruption.

At the conference, Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the bombing, calling it a "terrorist attack" against humanity and Islam.

Mr. Karzai is under international pressure to eradicate corruption from his government. He announced the anti-corruption conference shortly after he was sworn in for a second five-year presidential term last month.

Last month, Transparency International said Afghanistan is now perceived to be the second-most corrupt country in the world, behind Somalia.

Also Tuesday, a bomb attack killed a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan.

This year has been the deadliest for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since international forces toppled the Taliban in 2001.

On Monday, the top U.S. military officer said that the security situation in Afghanistan is worsening.

During a visit to Kabul, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said insurgents are believed to have a dominant influence in 11 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces and have improved their fighting tactics and bomb-making skills.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters..

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