South Asia

Suicide attack on US development office in Afghanistan

Five people have been killed by suicide bombers attacking the office of a US aid organisation in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz, officials say.

Six suicide bombers targeted the office of Development Alternatives, provincial governor Mohammad Omar said.

Afghan officials said three foreigners were killed: a German, a Filipino and a Briton. Two Afghans were also killed.

Police said 20 others were wounded in the attack. A Taliban spokesman said the group had carried out the attack.

"The first suicide attacker detonated at the entrance, the second detonated inside the premises, killing one foreign national," AFP news agency quoted the governor as saying.

Gunshots could be heard from inside the compound and smoke billowed from the building, which was then surrounded by Nato and Afghan forces.

Increasing attacks

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

Such attacks are increasing in number and sophistication, often resulting in higher civilian and military casualties, says the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Kabul.

A Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid was quoted by AFP as saying: "This morning six Taliban suicide bombers attacked the United States development organisation branch."

Development Alternatives is a USAID contractor which provides social and economic development assistance in developing countries. It has been in Kunduz for the past few months.

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