Kabul blast toll rises to 7, ninety injured (update Kabul blast)

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Kabul, Aug.15 (ANI): At least seven people were killed and about 90 wounded in a suicide car bomb blast outside the NATO headquarters here on Saturday.

Initial reports said three people, all Afghan civilians, had been killed and 70 people injured

The presidential palace and several embassies are also located in the area.

The blast comes just five days before presidential elections and against a backdrop of increased violence by the Taliban.

The blast shook buildings in the Wazir Akhbar Khan diplomatic district of the capital, home to the US and British embassies and the headquarters of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack, saying people would not be deterred from voting.

"The enemies of Afghanistan try to create fear among people in this election period but people still realise the importance of going to ballot boxes to cast their votes," Karzai was quoted by B.B.C. as saying.

The Afghan defence ministry issued a statement later saying that it believed seven people had been killed.

The blast hit the heavily fortified area of the city at about 0830 local time on Saturday.

"It was a suicide bombing carried out in a car right in front of Isaf [the Nato-led peacekeeping force]," Afghan defence ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said, speaking from the scene.

Several Isaf soldiers were reportedly among the injured.

Over 100,000 foreign troops are based in the country.

"We did hear the loud boom. I don't have any information now for you on it," said Lieutenant Tommy Groves, a media officer for US and Nato-led forces.

Sirens rang out across the city soon after the blast at about 8.30 a.m. No details about casualties or damage were immediately available.

The Taliban has vowed to disrupt the August 20 poll. (ANI)

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