KABUL - A suicide bomber blew himself up near a NATO base in Kabul's diplomatic district on Wednesday, hitting a military vehicle and killing two people, police and security officials said.
The Taliban, the leaders of an insurgency against US-led troops and the Afghan government, claimed responsibility, saying the target was a CIA office.
The blast was heard across the capital's diplomatic district, prompting the US embassy to sound its "duck and cover" alarm.
"It appears that an ISAF vehicle was damaged as a result of the attack," a spokesman for the US-led International Security Assistance Force told AFP.
"There is no indication of ISAF casualties. All ISAF bases in the green zone are secure."
An AFP photographer saw three bodies, including that of the bomber, near Camp Eggers, a major NATO military base in the zone.
"It was a suicide attack. Two people were killed -- one was a security guard the other was a civilian. Another person was wounded," interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told AFP.
Kabul police chief Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said the bomber, who was wearing a security guard's uniform and was carrying an automatic rifle and grenades, came under fire but managed to detonate his explosives.
The Taliban said in a text message to AFP that "a large number of fedayeen (suicide bombers) armed with light and heavy weapons attacked an important office of the CIA in the centre of Kabul and the fighting is continuing".
"The enemy has suffered heavy losses but a precise number can't be determined at this time."
The Islamists are known to exaggerate claims in their insurgency against the government of President Hamid Karzai, which is backed by more than 100,000 NATO troops.
Suicide attacks are a Taliban trademark, along with roadside bombs.
While the fighting is concentrated in the south and east of the country, Kabul has been hit by a series of deadly suicide and commando-style insurgent attacks this year.
Among the major assaults, explosions and gunfire rocked the city on April 15 as squads of Taliban suicide attackers struck across Afghanistan. At least 51 people were killed in the attacks, 36 of them insurgents.
On June 22, Taliban militants armed with automatic weapons and rockets attacked a hotel near Kabul, seizing dozens of hostages and killing at least 18 people.
And on September 8, a teenage suicide bomber struck outside NATO headquarters in Kabul, killing six people, including child hawkers, as Afghanistan marked a public holiday.
Ten days later, a suicide car bomber killed 12 people, including eight South Africans, on a highway leading to the international airport.
Earlier this month several rockets struck near Kabul's presidential palace and airport, killing one and wounding three, police said.
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