September 18, 2012

Afghan Blast Kills 8 South Africans

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Sept 18 Agencies | The International Affairs Ministry says eight South African citizens have been killed in a suicide bomb blast in Afghanistan.

Spokesman Nelson Kgwete said that the victims are believed to have been employed by a South African aviation company based at Rand Airport in Johannesburg.

A suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a mini-bus carrying foreign aviation workers to the airport in Kabul early on Tuesday, killing at least nine people in an attack that a militant group said was revenge for an anti-Islam film that ridicules the Prophet Mohammed.

The attack took place on the eight-lane highway sometime after 6.30am (1200 AEST).

The blast, which went off in front of a petrol station, was so powerful it hurled the minibus at least 50 metres.

Earlier on Tuesday, a spokesman for NATO's US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed an explosion near the airport, but said there was no current report of casualties among its personnel.

Witnesses said there was smoke spewing into the sky and a heavy police deployment at the scene of the attack, contributing to a major traffic snarl-up on the busy road.

An eyewitness at the scene said he was waiting for a bus to go to work at 6.45am when he saw a small white sedan ram into the minibus.

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