KABUL, Afghanistan – A suicide bomber struck at the heart of NATO’s operation in Kabul on Saturday, killing at least six Afghan civilians in an attack that officials blamed on the Haqqani network – a militant group the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization.
No coalition casualties were reported in Saturday’s blast just outside the sprawling headquarters of the U.S.-led military coalition, said German Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz, the NATO spokesman.
But the insurgents’ continued ability to strike so close to NATO headquarters has undermined coalition claims of improving security as foreign troops withdraw and prepare to hand over security responsibilities to Afghan forces across the country by the end of 2014.
The bomber, whom Kabul police estimated to be about 14 years old, struck just before noon on a street that connects the alliance headquarters to the nearby U.S. and Italian embassies, a large U.S. military base and the Afghan Defense Ministry. He detonated his explosives while walking down the street, according to Kabul police.