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Foreign compound attacked in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the detonation of a car bomb outside a private residential compound used by foreigners in Kabul, Afghanistan. Officials say civilians have been killed in the attack.

The complex attack began around 5pm on Friday, when a car exploded outside the walls of the compound Green Village. A fire fight between insurgents and Afghan troops followed.

"Initial investigations show it was suicide car bomb attack. A small car packed with explosives hit two vehicles as they were exiting the Green Village compound," Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told the news agency AFP.

The Taliban wasted little time in claiming responsibility: "This attack was carried on a foreign invaders' convoy and also the important Green Village center," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter. The NATO-led International Security Associated Forced (ISAF) confirmed the attack and that "there was one enemy killed as a result of the attack."

"We have no operational reports of ISAF personnel fatalities," it said in a statement.

Initial reports said parts of the ensuing firefight had taken place inside the walls of the compound, which houses military contractors, European diplomatic personnel, United Nations employees and other foreign nationals. Conflicting reports, however, indicate that the fighting took place in the surrounding streets.

"[It] doesn't look like it [was inside the compound]. It was out on the street rather than inside," a source told news agency Reuters.

Green Village was attacked in May 2012 by a suicide car bomber and armed attackers, leaving eight dead and 20 injured. The compound is surrounded by several blast walls and protected by armed guards.

Friday's attack comes a little over a month after Taliban militants detonated a suicide car bomb outside the United States consulate in Herat.

ph/kms (Reuters, AP, AFP)