KABUL, Afghanistan -- Suicide bombers rammed explosive-laden cars into NATO forces in two attacks yesterday.
A German soldier and an Afghan child were among eight people killed, and at least a dozen other people were wounded. A spokesman for NATO's peacekeeping force, Major Andrew Elmes, said the other six bodies were believed to be those of Afghans.
It was the first major assault on foreign troops in Kabul in more than a year.
Today, police blamed Al Qaeda for the bombings. Police commander General Mohammed Akbar said only Al Qaeda has the capability to pull off such a coordinated attack. ''Al Qaeda is definitely behind this attack," he said.
Troops appeared to have thwarted a third bombing by shooting to death three people in a car who reportedly had been racing toward the scene of the blasts.
The bombs went off within 90 minutes of each other on a 500-yard stretch of road, near the headquarters of Afghan-UN election organizers. In each case, the attackers rammed cars into NATO vehicles.
After the first attack, the body of the German soldier lay on the ground, under a crumpled armored military vehicle. Troops carried a wounded German soldier to an ambulance on a stretcher. Bits of a
The blasts underscored challenges facing the US-backed president, Hamid Karzai. They took place two days after officials released results from legislative elections in September; Karzai's supporters won the contest.
Kabul, which is home to about 3,000 foreigners and which is patrolled by thousands of NATO soldiers, had been regarded as one of the country's safest places, despite several kidnappings over the past year.
Senior Afghan officials have spoken in recent months of Al Qaeda operatives entering the country to stage assaults, mostly from neighboring Pakistan. In the past two months, there have been eight suicide bombings nationwide, the deadliest in September outside an army training center in Kabul. Previously, such assaults were far less frequent.
The German defense minister, Peter Struck, said the attack showed ''there is not a stable, quiet situation in Afghanistan" and that the NATO force is still needed. ''We are dealing with a permanent threat," Struck said in Berlin.
The multinational force in Afghanistan, called the International Security Assistance Force, about 12,000 soldiers from 36 nations in Afghanistan.
It is responsible for security in Kabul, as well as northern and western regions of the country. A separate 20,000-member US-led coalition is in the volatile eastern and southern parts of the country.