KABUL, Afghanistan — A Taliban suicide bomber struck outside Afghanistan's Supreme Court on Tuesday, killing 17 people in the deadliest attack in Kabul in over a year and a half.
It was also the second consecutive day of attacks in the Afghan capital, undermining the ability of Afghan forces to keep security without help from NATO troops.
The attacker rammed his SUV into buses carrying court employees at the end of the day's work. All of the dead were civilians, including women and children, police said, and at least 39 people were wounded.
The Taliban militants said they delivered a blow to "cruel judges" who obey Western powers, and warned of more bombings to come.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack, saying it was another "terrorist act that once again shows the Taliban are serving the enemies of Islam."
Tuesday's attack was the deadliest in Kabul since Dec. 6, 2011, when a suicide bomber on foot hit worshipers at a Shiite shrine, killing at least 80 people.
It came just a day after heavily armed fighters launched a failed assault on NATO's operational headquarters at the military section of Kabul's international airport. All seven attackers were killed by Afghan forces and only two civilians were wounded in Monday's attack.
As international forces started a withdrawal that will see most foreign troops gone by the end of 2014, the Taliban and other groups have unleashed a wave of bombings and assassinations around the country, testing the ability of Afghan security forces to respond with reduced help from NATO troops.