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Taliban Says It Attacked Blackwater Convoy In Afghanistan Print
By Bill Sizemore, The Virginian-Pilot - March 22, 2007

The Taliban is claiming responsibility for a suicide car-bomb attack on a Blackwater USA diplomatic convoy Monday in Kabul, Afghanistan.

A 15-year-old Afghan bystander was killed and five security guards wounded, one seriously.

Tommy Cullinan, 27, of Irmo, S.C., was scheduled to be flown Wednesday to a military hospital in Germany for treatment of leg injuries, his mother, Harriet Cullinan, told The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C.
Cullinan said her son, a former Marine, was commander of a convoy of three armored Chevrolet Suburbans caught in the attack. The blast knocked the engine of the vehicle into the passenger compartment, shattering his leg, she said.

Blackwater, a Moyock, N.C.-based private military company, provides security for U.S. diplomatic personnel. A company spokeswoman confirmed that the incident involved a Blackwater convoy.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone call to The Associated Press. It was the first such attack in Kabul since December. The U.S. Embassy closed down as a result and sent out a warning to Americans
living in the area, the AP reported.

A spokesman for the embassy in Kabul said the American ambassador, Ronald Neumann, was not in the convoy at the time of the attack.

The explosion occurred about two miles from the embassy on a busy road connecting Kabul and the U.S. military base at Bagram.

Last month, a suicide bomber killed 23 people outside the base at Bagram during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney.
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