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Friday
Oct182013

Car Bomb Targets Foreigners' Compound in Afghanistan

MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- A powerful car bomb exploded in Afghanistan's capital on Friday, one of two explosions that appeared to target a private residential compound used by foreigners.

The attack happened Friday evening just after sunset.  Afghan officials say the two explosions went off in quick succession outside of Kabul's Green Village, followed by an exchange of gunfire. The bombs were hidden in a white sedan and detonated just as a convoy of vehicles was passing through, according to Afghan officials on the scene.

A Taliban spokesperson quickly claimed responsibility for the attack via Twitter, saying the group had targeted "an important military base."

Green Village has no official military designation, and though NATO-affiliated contractors often stay there, it falls outside of the NATO mandate.

Two civilians, including a woman, were killed in the attack, according to Sediq Siddiqui, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry.  Four others, including two children, were injured.

The compound, which features both short- and long-term housing rentals, is surrounded by thick concrete blast walls and guarded around the clock by armed security guards, mostly from Nepal.  It is used primarily by foreign security contractors, but often hosts civilians and U.N. workers as well.

The village is located on Jalalabad Road, a main artery that connects Kabul with the eastern part of the country.  The camp itself is close to Kabul International Airport and Camp Phoenix, a NATO base used to train Afghan soldiers.

It's the second time in the last two years that the Green Village has been attacked. Militants targeted the village with a suicide car bomb in May 2012, before attempting to storm the compound. A number of Afghan guards were killed, but none of the residents inside were injured in the attack.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio