KABUL, Afghanistan -- Two blasts rocked the Afghan capital yesterday: A rocket slammed into the headquarters of NATO's 8,000-member security force, damaging a building but causing no casualties, and a bomb exploded on a busy road, wounding seven civilians, officials said.
In southern Afghanistan, fighting between Afghan troops and suspected Taliban rebels left at least 10 insurgents and a soldier dead, a government spokesman said.
The rocket hit a military barracks at the International Security Assistance Force base in central Kabul, which is near the US Embassy and other diplomatic missions, said Lieutenant Colonel Karen Tissot Van Patot, an embassy spokeswoman.
The attack occurred shortly after midnight, and the sound of the blast reverberated in central Kabul, home to about 3,000 foreign aid workers, diplomats, and others. Sirens wailed for about 30 minutes after the blast.
The second explosion, after dawn, was on a road near a US military base and a UN compound. The bomb, detonated by a timer, was attached to a bicycle and exploded as a taxi drove past, said General Mohammad Akbar, chief of police.
Four of the injured were in the taxi, and the three others were passersby, he said, adding that two of the injured men were in serious condition.
The clashes in southern Afghanistan broke out in Zabul Province's Arghandab District after the rebels ambushed an army patrol, local government spokesman Ali Khail said.
He said 11 soldiers who had been reported missing turned up after walking out of mountains in the area. Khail said that in addition to the 10 insurgents killed, three had been captured, including a district Taliban commander.
US forces rushed to the scene, but the rebels had already fled, the US military said. It said two Afghan police officers were killed.
A purported Taliban spokesman, Mullah Latif Hakimi, claimed responsibility for the attack and said two Taliban insurgents were killed in the firefight that followed the ambush. He said 11 Afghan soldiers were killed, although this could not be verified.
Hakimi calls news organizations to claim responsibility for attacks, often with information that proves exaggerated or untrue.
After a winter lull, loyalists of Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime and other militants opposed to President Hamid Karzai's US-backed government have intensified their insurgency with bombings and other attacks. US-led coalition forces and Afghan troops have hit back hard, killing nearly 200 suspected insurgents and capturing dozens since March.