Eight people, including three female foreigners, were killed Friday in a suicide bombing inside a central Kabul supermarket claimed by Taliban militants, police said.
“Eight people were killed and six others sustained injuries in today’s attack in the supermarket,” said the head of Kabul police Mohammad Ayub Salangi.
“Among them were foreign nationals,” he said, adding that the dead included one child and women and up to four of the wounded were in a critical condition.
Kabul police spokesman Hasmatullah Stanikzai confirmed the explosion took place in the Finest supermarket in Kabul, a grocery store frequented by foreigners and close to embassies in the capital.
“Three female foreigners were killed in the attack and also three male employees of the supermarket were injured,” Stanikzai said, though he could not confirm the nationalities of the dead.
Kabul police chief Mohammad Zahir confirmed it was a suicide attack.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP that its rebels were responsible for the attack, claiming it targeted private security contractors.
“Some employees and the head of Blackwater, a private security firm, who were shopping in a supermarket in Kabul have been attacked by one of our men,” Mujahid said.
“We claim credit for this attack”.
He said the attacker opened fire in the supermarket before blowing himself up and killing several people, including the private security staff.
Driven from power in late 2001 by US-led forces, the Taliban and their allies have been engaged in a bloody rebellion against the government of President Hamid Karzai and some 140,000 foreign troops that support it.
Although residents and officials say security has improved in the capital over the past two years, it is regularly hit by attacks sometimes targeting foreigners, considered by the Taliban to be accomplices of the government.
On August 10, two suicide bombers attacked a guesthouse of a British private security company, killing two drivers and wounding a guard.
In February 2010, at least 16 people, including one French, one Italian and seven Indians were killed in a Taliban attack on residential guesthouses.
In December 2009, at least eight people were killed and 40 were wounded in a suicide bombing near a hotel hosting foreigners.
On 28 October the same year, the Taliban had attacked a United Nations guesthouse, killing eight people including five foreign employees of the UN.
In January 2008 a suicide attack against the Serena Hotel, the city’s most luxurious and frequented by foreigners, left eight dead.
Security in the capital is managed by Afghan forces.