Teenage bomber kills six near NATO HQ in Kabul
By Mirwais Harooni
KABUL (Reuters) - A 14-year-old suicide bomber detonated explosives near the heavily barricaded NATO headquarters in Kabul on Saturday, killing six civilians including children, NATO and local officials said.
The bomber wore a vest packed with explosives and rode right up to the NATO gates on a bicycle, underscoring the insurgents' ability to strike deep inside the Afghan capital, ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign combat forces by the end of 2014.
Pieces of flesh and splattered blood lay on the street near the base, where the small bodies of children were lifted into ambulances. Scores of young children peddle trinkets and chewing gum around the foreign bases, hoping to earn a bit of cash.
Wailing women in head-to-toe burqas who said they were the dead children's mothers rushed shortly after the attack to the site, where small flip flops lay strewn in the mud.
Kabul Police, in a statement to media, said the bomber was 14 years old, without giving details.
The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, but denied they had deployed a teenage bomber, saying instead he was a 28-year-old who targeted the Kabul offices of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) condemned the use of children. "Forcing underage youth to do their dirty work again proves the insurgency's despicable tactics," said spokesman Brigadier General Gunter Katz.
The U.S. embassy in Kabul said in a statement that using "the most impressionable and vulnerable", such as a teenager, to carry out such attacks revealed the true nature of the insurgents. Continued...