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1 dead in bombing of Afghan security agency; Taliban claim responsibility

KABUL — Suicide bombers riding in minivans struck the headquarters of the Afghan intelligence agency Wednesday, detonating a powerful car bomb and raising questions about how insurgents could pull off such a bold attack in one of the most heavily guarded areas of the city.

The explosion went off around noon at one of the gates of the National Directorate of Security around the site. The attack, which was followed by sporadic gunfire, killed one employee of the agency.

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Sadiq Sadiqi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said six insurgents mounted the attack from the first minivan, with the first bus exploding in front of the agency’s gate. The second vehicle, which contained five armed fighters, was stopped by guards at the gate before it could be detonated and all the insurgents were killed, Sadiqi said.

The Taliban later claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack came as coalition forces speed up the pace of handing over security to Afghan forces. The United States has promised to withdraw its combat forces by 2014, a deadline that has left many Afghans worried about security.

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