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UK security guard killed in Afghanistan suicide attack

Development Alternatives offices
Image caption Six suicide bombers attacked the offices in northern Afghanistan

A British private security guard was among those killed in a suicide attack on offices in northern Afghanistan.

And a second British man is now in a critical condition after the attack.

At least four people died when six suicide bombers targeted the offices of US consultancy Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) in Kunduz.

A DAI spokesman confirmed that a Briton working as a security subcontractor was among the victims, and police said 20 other people were wounded.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said the two men's next of kin had been notified and that they were being provided with consular assistance.

A Taliban spokesman said the insurgent group had carried out the attack, which began when a suicide bomber blew up a car in front of a building used by DAI.

At least five other militants wearing explosive vests then entered the building and mounted a gun battle with Afghan security forces, which lasted several hours before the attackers were killed.

Afghan officials said a German and two Afghans were also killed.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the dawn raid, saying it was the work of people who "don't want the people of Afghanistan to have a prosperous life".

DAI President and CEO James Boomgard said: "The actions taken by the EI security staff in defence of the compound and project staff were nothing short of heroic.

"We are deeply grateful for their bravery, and for the work they do day in, day out, to make our development mission possible. Our hearts go out to the families of the deceased at this terrible hour."

Washington-based DAI is contracted by the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID) to improve governance and community development in Kunduz, which is largely patrolled by German troops.

International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) spokeswoman Captain Jane Campbell said: "This attack shows the insurgents' desire to prevent progress and draws attention to their true goal of serving themselves rather than the people of Afghanistan.

"We remain committed to serving alongside our Afghan partners to improve security and development for all Afghans."

The BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Kabul said that such attacks were increasing in number and sophistication, often resulting in higher civilian and military casualties.

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