KABUL (AP) - At least nine people were killed and six others injured by the explosion of a bomb in a grocery store frequented by foreigners on Friday in Kabul, police said.
Three foreign nationals and a child, whose nationality was not identified, were among the dead, as the police chief of Kabul, Mohammad Ayub Salang. Two of the injured were in serious condition, he said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which they said was the U.S. security firm Xe (formerly Blackwater). In a message sent to reporters, the spokesman for the Taliban Zabiullah Mujahid said that the attack was "the head of Blackwater."
The attack was committed by a suicide bomber, said Sayed Bashir, Department of the Interior. Investigators said the bomber fired at least one grenade and fired shots, leading customers to flee to another part of the store, before blowing himself up.
The explosion sparked a fire in the grocery store. "I was inside," testified Mary Hayden, a Western consultant. "A bomb has exploded. Everyone rushed to the rear of the building."
The store is located in the neighborhood under surveillance of Wazir Akbar Khan, an area popular with foreigners and wealthy Afghans.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack. "The enemies of Afghanistan are so desperate now they kill civilians, including women, in a grocery store," he said.