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British national, 4 Afghan civilians die in suicide attack on British embassy vehicle

A suicide bomber in a car packed with explosives struck a British embassy vehicle Thursday, killing at least five people, including one British national, and wounding more than 34 in the latest in a string of insurgent attacks in the Afghan capital.lRelated
Afghanistan PakistanFour health workers slain in attack on Pakistan vaccination teamSee all relatedA spokesman for the British embassy in Kabul confirmed the attack and said “there was no diplomat in the vehicle.” He declined to offer details.  Kabul police officials reported that a suicide bomber struck the vehicle on a main road leading to the eastern city of Jalalabad, the site of another insurgent attack earlier in the week that killed two soldiers belonging to the U.S.-led military coalition.Officials have raised the death toll to five dead and 34 injured, said spokesman Kaneshka Turkistani. Among the injured are five children. Pictures circulated on social media showed an armored sport-utility vehicle reportedly belonging to the British embassy flipped onto its side, its engine charred and hood twisted. It was not immediately clear who had been traveling in the vehicle.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.Attacks on Afghan civilians and international personnel have increased markedly over the past week in an apparent show of strength by Taliban insurgents and their allies. The violence poses a direct challenge to President Ashraf Ghani’s administration, which has broad popular support

following a contested election but has yet to name a Cabinet.In the northern province of Kunduz, where the Taliban have grabbed control of several districts in recent months, insurgents kidnapped 15 government officials late Wednesday, according to local officials.Abdul Wasay Basel, a spokesman for the governor’s office, said that employees of the provincial customs office were traveling to the provincial capital when their bus was stopped by Taliban insurgents. The bus driver was suspected of having links with the insurgents, he said.Basel said the employees are believed to have been taken to Dasht-e-Archi, a long contested district where government forces recently launched an operation to flush out insurgents.[email protected]Ahmadi is a special correspondent. Staff writer Bengali reported from Mumbai, India. Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times UPDATE1:16 a.m.: Replaces AP story with staff reporting; updates number of injured people at the scene. Includes preliminary investigation information that a British national was killed in the attack. Adds more information about the suicide bomber and describes the scene.

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