A teenage suicide bomber blew himself up outside NATO headquarters in the Afghan capital today, killing six civilians in a strike that targeted the heart of the US-led military operation in the country. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, the latest in a series of attacks carried out by insurgents in Kabul. The bomber struck before noon outside the headquarters of the NATO coalition, on a street that connects the alliance headquarters to the nearby US Embassy, the Italian Embassy, a large US military base, and the Afghan Defense Ministry. All the victims were Afghans, police said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi blamed the attack on the Haqqani network, which was designated a terrorist organization by the US yesterday. The network is linked to the Taliban and al-Qaeda and has been responsible for several high-profile attacks in Kabul previously. Attacks in the capital score propaganda points by undermining coalition claims of progress ahead of the planned withdrawal of foreign troops by the end of 2014. (Read more Afghanistan war stories.)