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Suicide blast in Kabul kills 8 at Supreme Court

Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide car bomber struck outside the Afghan Supreme Court in Kabul on Tuesday, killing at least eight people and wounding 20, police and health officials said.

The attacker detonated his vehicle outside the court's back entrance as employees were leaving for the day and as cars belonging to staff were driving out of the back gate, said police officer Jahn Agha.

Kabir Amiri, director of Kabul hospitals, said there were at least eight dead and 20 wounded in the attack.

Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said the bomber drove an SUV and specifically targeted buses carrying Supreme Court employees.

It was the second attack in Kabul in as many days.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack but it comes as the Taliban and other militants have unleashed a wave of bombings and assassinations around the country, testing the ability of the Afghan security forces to respond with reduced help from international forces, which have begun a withdrawal that will see most foreign troops gone by the end of 2014.

The Supreme Court is located on a busy road, a few hundred meters (yards) from the gates of the U.S. Embassy in a central part of Kabul.

Deputy police chief Dawood Amin said the top court was the target of the attack.

"There were casualties among the supreme court officials," said eyewitness Mohammad Salem.

On Monday, seven Taliban fighters with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns launched a rare assault on NATO's operational headquarters at the military section of Kabul's international airport. All seven militants were killed and two civilians were wounded in the violence.

The failed attack showed that despite an enormous security blanket around the capital, insurgents can still menace Kabul.

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Associated Press writer Patrick Quinn contributed to this report from Kabul.

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