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US reports blast near embassy in Kabul

Written by: Staff
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WASHINGTON, Apr 19 (Reuters) A rocket exploded today at an Afghan government building near the US embassy compound in the capital Kabul but there were no known US casualties, the State Department said.

A State Department spokesman said 107 mm rocket landed near or hit the Communications Ministry in Kabul which is several hundred feet from the back gate of the US embassy compound in the capital.

''All US employees were accounted for and there were no known casualties,'' said State Department spokesman Tom Casey.

A US military spokesman told CNN from Kabul that he understood an Afghan security guard was slightly injured in the incident but otherwise there were no casualties. Col Tom Collins played down the seriousness of the incident. ''It's more harassment than anything else,'' he said.

US forces invaded Afghanistan shortly after the September. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States to overthrow the Taliban government which harbored Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders, held responsible for the attacks.

Violence has surged in the country in recent weeks since the remnants of the Taliban announced a spring offensive in their campaign to rid the country of foreign forces.

Earlier today, a car bomb blew up as its driver tried to ram a US military convoy near the Afghan city of Jalalabad. In a separate incident two Canadian soldiers were wounded in a roadside blast.

REUTERS SC PM0138

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