With blast, Taliban respond to Obama: 'You need to focus on leaving' (+video)
The Taliban detonated a car bomb around dawn, shortly after Mr. Obama gave a speech invoking 'a new dawn' with the signing of a US-Afghanistan strategic partnership agreement.
Taliban militants detonated a car bomb outside a private, heavily fortified compound home to mostly foreigners at about 6:15 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Afghan security forces and Taliban militants then exchanged gunfire. Afghan police officials say the situation was under control by 9:00 a.m., but the incident left at least 7 people dead and some 17 people injured.
The explosion came shortly after Mr. Obama gave a speech invoking "a new dawn" with the signing of a US-Afghanistan strategic partnership agreement. The incident not only underscores the difficulties that remain as Afghan security forces take control of increasingly larger share of the country, but also the potential fallout from the Afghan insurgency during high-profile visits.
“Obama’s visit to Afghanistan came under huge security preparations. Of course it was not risky for him, but it created concerns for citizens of Kabul. People were worried that many things would happen,” says Muhammad Hassan Haqyar, an independent political analyst in Kabul. “We saw the attack this morning that took the lives of many innocent people, but it was completely safe for Obama.”
The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they planned and conducted the attack on extremely short notice as soon as they learned about Obama’s arrival in Afghanistan. The unsophisticated nature of the attack suggests little planning beyond having fighters and some explosives pre-positioned in the vicinity of Kabul.