Suicide bombing, gunfire rock Kabul

KABUL (AFP) - A suicide car-bombing followed by several other explosions and gunfire rocked western Kabul around dawn on Monday, police and witnesses said.

A large pall of smoke was rising from the vicinity of a border police complex on the road to the parliament and the road had been sealed off, residents in the area told AFP.

A local police official told AFP the first large explosion was a suicide car bomb and was followed by several other blasts and gunfire.

Last week, a squad of suicide bombers attacked the Afghan intelligence agency headquarters in heavily fortified central Kabul, killing at least one guard and wounding dozens of civilians.

All six attackers were killed in that brazen midday attack on the National Directorate of Security (NDS), which is playing an increasingly important role in the war against the Taliban as NATO forces prepare to withdraw next year.

Taliban insurgents, who have waged an 11-year war against the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, claimed responsibility for that attack.