Bombs kill 9 inside elite Afghan housing complex

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two bombs hidden in a motorcycle and a car exploded inside an elite gated community linked to the family of Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday evening, killing at least nine people and wounding more than 70 near the southern city of Kandahar, an official said.

The blasts happened inside Aino Mina, a housing complex on the northern outskirts of the city that was developed in part by Mahmood Karzai, the president's younger brother.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but striking inside a powerful symbol of wealth and influence would be a publicity coup for the Taliban insurgency.

Both the car bomb and the motorcycle were remotely detonated within minutes of each other while parked next to a restaurant area where families were dining, Kandahar government spokesman Javeed Faisal said. He had earlier said there was only one blast.

Three police were among the dead, Faisal said, adding that an investigation is under way into how the explosives-laden vehicle slipped past the community's heavy security.

Many of the dozens of wounded brought to Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar were in critical condition, Dr. Samad Ahmadi said.

Aino Mina is home to thousands of Afghan government officials, businessmen and other wealthy citizens who pay some $90,000 for a three-bedroom house on grounds featuring parks, a jogging track, a football field and its own mosque.

President Karzai's office quickly condemned the attack, noting it was the second terrorist strike in a residential area in two days. On Thursday, a suicide car bomber hit a U.S. convoy in a residential part of eastern Kabul, killing 15 people, including six Americans. That attack was claimed by another militant movement, Hizb-e-Islami.

Bombs kill 9 inside elite Afghan housing complex 05/17/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 17, 2013 10:58pm]

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