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Deadly explosions rattle Kabul

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: At least seven people killed, 21 wounded from blasts, officials say
  • Blast erupts near the Safi Landmark Hotel in the neighborhood of Shahr-E-Naw
  • Neighborhood has a number of government buildings and U.N. offices
  • A few minutes later, a second large explosion occurred with sporadic gunfire
RELATED TOPICS
  • Afghanistan
  • Kabul

(CNN) -- Two huge explosions shook Afghanistan early Friday, killing at least seven people and wounding 21 others, a hospital coordinator said.

The blast erupted near the Safi Landmark Hotel in the neighborhood of Shahr-E-Naw, where there are a number of government buildings and U.N. offices as well as supermarkets, banks, diplomatic facilities and villas for well-to-do Afghans.

The force of the first explosion -- which struck about 6:30 a.m. (9 p.m. Thursday ET) was so strong that it shook CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman awake, he said.

"We saw smoke rising over the area and heard a fair amount of gunfire -- automatic and single shot," he said from north-central Kabul.

The blast erupted near the Safi Landmark Hotel in the neighborhood of Shahr-E-Naw, where there are a number of government buildings and U.N. offices.

A few minutes later, a second large explosion occurred, he said. Sporadic gunfire was continuing, he said.

Afghan police blocked off roads leading to the area. Windows were shattered in nearby buildings.

 
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