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FOUR WITH AID AGENCY DIE IN BLAST

Their compound is hit by suicide bombers as Gen. David Petraeus arrives in Afghanistan.

Times wires

KABUL, Afghanistan - Six militants armed with suicide bombs stormed the compound of an American contractor working for an American aid organization in the northern city of Kunduz on Friday, killing four security officers in an assault that left all the attackers dead, according to Afghan officials and the aid contractor.

The attack came on the same day that Gen. David Petraeus landed in the Afghan capital to take command of U.S. and international forces fighting the nearly 9-year-old war.

The security officers killed included a Briton, a German and two Afghans who worked for Edinburgh International, the firm guarding the Kunduz compound of Development Alternatives Inc., a global consulting company based in Bethesda, Md., that is on contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The Taliban took credit for the attack, which began around 3 a.m. when the first bomber exploded his car at the gate of the compound. Five other suicide bombers raced inside the building, where they began firing rifles, said the governor of Kunduz province, Mohammed Omar.

He said at least 23 people were wounded, including police officers, guards and civilians. DAI said several Edinburgh International and DAI employees were wounded.

The five other attackers all eventually died inside the building, according to Omar, but he did not make it clear whether they had been shot during a six-hour firefight or had blown themselves up.

"The building has been destroyed," Omar said.

This report includes information from the Associated Press and the New York Times.

House approves funding for wars

Democrats in the House of Representatives approved an additional $37 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan late Thursday. The funding bill, which passed by a vote of 215-210, would allocate money for equipment and support to troops in both countries, including the additional 30,000 troops the president ordered there in December. The Senate still must approve the legislation, totaling about $80 billion.

Washington Post

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