12 Killed In Afghan Suicide Bombing
September 18, 2012
Afghan militants have claimed responsibility for a suicide car-bomb attack near the international airport in Kabul that killed 12 people, including at least eight foreigners.
The Hizb-e Islami insurgent group said the bombing was in retaliation for a privately made U.S. film mocking the Prophet Muhammad that has ignited angry protests across the Muslim world.
The suicide bomber, who Hizb-e Islami said was a 22-year-old woman, rammed a car packed with explosives into a minivan carrying foreign aviation workers.
"They were all civilian pilots working for [a] private company [Air Charter Service]," Kabul Deputy Police Chief Daud Amin told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan. "While they were on the way to the airport, there was a suicide attack with a car bomb."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack.
His office said the victims included eight South African nationals, one Kyrgyz, and three Afghans. Another 11 Afghan civilians were reportedly wounded.
Suicide bombings carried out by women are extremely rare in Afghanistan, where few women even drive cars.
The attack comes one day after thousands of demonstrators burned cars and threw rocks at a U.S. military base in Kabul to protest the anti-Islam film.
The protest was the worst outbreak of violence since rioting in February over the inadvertent burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers.
On September 18, several hundred university students in the northern city of Konduz clashed with police and set fire to photographs of U.S. President Barack Obama.
The violence -- in which U.S. and other foreign embassies were stormed in cities in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East -- has left at least 19 people dead.
Among the dead are the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
The United States has since sent ships, extra troops, and special forces to protect U.S. interests and citizens in the Middle East, where a number of U.S. embassies have evacuated staff.
The identities of those directly responsible for the low-budget film are being investigated.
With reporting by AP, AFP and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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