Seven killed in Afghanistan blast

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Kabul, Sep 29: At least seven people were killed and 13 others wounded after a Taliban suicide bomber targeted a security checkpoint near Kabul airport on Monday one hour before the inauguration of the new president, sources said.

"A terrorist detonated his explosive vest near a police checkpoint in eastern part of Kabul International Airport at around 10 a.m., killing four security personnel and three civilians and injuring 13 others," a security official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The attack took place one hour before the inauguration ceremony in which Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was sworn-in the new president of Afghanistan and his runner-up Abdullah Abdullah took oath as the chief executive officer.

The Taliban insurgent group claimed responsibility for the attack around midday.

This is the first time in the history of Afghanistan that power has been transferred peacefully from one president to another.

Afghan security forces took the full operational lead from foreign troops in the middle of last year. The war-torn country is due to take over the responsibility for its own security from NATO-led troops by the end of year.

More than 41,000 NATO-led coalition troops, down from the peak of 130,000 in 2010, are stationed in Afghanistan. Nearly 29,000 of them are Americans and the US plans to trim its forces to less than 10,000 next year.

IANS

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