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Blast kills 4 in Afghan capital Print
By Associated Press - June 17, 2007

KABUL, Afghanistan - A suicide car bomber attacked a convoy of American contract workers and military personnel in the Afghan capital Saturday, killing at least four civilians, officials said. A U.S. soldier opened fire afterward, killing one civilian and sparking an angry protest.

Saturday's blast killed the bomber, wrecked a taxi and other nearby vehicles, and shattered windows of roadside homes and shops.
Maj. Sheldon Smith, a U.S. spokesman for troops training Afghan police and army soldiers, said American contract workers and military personnel were in the convoy. A spokesman at the U.S. base at Bagram said workers with DynCorp, who are helping train Afghan police, were attacked.

Smith said the coalition "never intentionally endangers the lives of innocent Afghan civilians" but that the Taliban routinely and intentionally uses explosive devices in heavily populated areas.

Taliban spokesmen have warned Afghan civilians to avoid military convoys, but suicide bombings commonly kill or wound far more civilians than military targets - a fact NATO repeatedly points out.

The American soldier in a Humvee "mistakenly" opened fire on the crowd after the suicide attack, killing one civilian and wounding three, said Zalmai Khan, deputy Kabul police chief.

Afterward, a crowd of 50-100 people gathered, with some chanting "Death to America" and jabbing their arms at police.

Zabiullah Mujahid, who claims to speak for the Taliban, said the militant group was behind the blast.

Elsewhere, a soldier in the U.S.-led coalition was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle Saturday in Uruzgan province, the coalition said. The soldier's nationality was not released.
 
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