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17 killed in Kabul suicide blasts

An Afghan security officer stands guard as firemen inspect the debris at the site of a blast in the Shahr-E-Naw area in the  heart of the capital Kabul on Friday.
An Afghan security officer stands guard as firemen inspect the debris at the site of a blast in the Shahr-E-Naw area in the heart of the capital Kabul on Friday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 17 killed in attacks in Kabul, nationalities still to be confirmed
  • Taliban claim responsibility for attacks, which started with suicide car bomb
  • Three bombers were killed, Taliban spokesman says
  • Neighborhood has a number of government buildings and U.N. offices

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Deadly blasts targeting foreign nationals in the Afghan capital Friday killed at least 17 people and wounded many others.

Authorities were trying to determine how many people died and the nationalities of those slain.

Kabir Al-Amiri, an employee at Kabul hospital, said eight Indians and one Pakistani national were among the dead. Afghan Interior Ministry officials said an Italian was killed, and the Indian Embassy said four Indians were killed in the attack.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks 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.

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The force of the first explosion -- at about 6:30 a.m. (9 p.m. Thursday ET) -- shook parts of the Afghan capital as windows shattered and smoke billowed. The sound of gunfire filled the air.

The attack started with a suicide car bomb and four suicide bombers with explosive-laden vests, said Taliban spokesman Zaidullah Mujahid. Three of the bombers were killed, he said.

About 20 minutes later, a second large explosion occurred.

Afghan police blocked off roads leading to the area of the blasts.

CNN's Ben Wedeman contributed to this report

 
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