ShareThis Page
World

Suicide bomb kills 6 near their Kabul compound

| Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 8:09 p.m.
Afghan police secure at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, near a compound where Afghan elders will debate a security pact with the United States next week.
AFP/Getty Images
Afghan police secure at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, near a compound where Afghan elders will debate a security pact with the United States next week.

KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide car bomber tore through the Afghan capital Saturday, just hours after President Hamid Karzai announced U.S. and Afghan negotiators had agreed on a draft deal allowing troops to remain in the country beyond a 2014 deadline.

The blast, which killed six people near where thousands of tribal leaders will discuss the deal next week, was a bloody reminder of the insecurity plaguing the country after 12 years of war.

The suicide bomber attacked security forces protecting the Loya Jirga site, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said. He said the blast killed six people and wounded 22. Among the dead were two security personnel, he said.

Sediqqi said Afghan security forces had prior knowledge of the suicide bombing, but were unable to stop the attack. He did not elaborate.

No group immediately claimed the attack, though blame is likely to fall on the Taliban, who have adamantly opposed the presence of any foreign soldiers in Afghanistan.

Karzai called for the Loya Jirga, a national consultative assembly of tribal elders, to begin meeting Thursday to discuss the proposal. Some 3,000 elders and influential figures will debate the Bilateral Security Agreement.

Without its approval, Afghanistan likely will refuse to sign the agreement. If the Loya Jirga does approve it, the agreement still requires final approval from parliament, Karzai said.

U.S. officials refused to comment on the draft, describing the effort as an ongoing diplomatic process. Karzai provided few details regarding how and when the draft was finalized, but said there still remain “differences” between Washington and Kabul on the deal.

Negotiations have been protracted and often acrimonious. In the end, it took a surprise visit to Afghanistan in October by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to produce the outlines of a deal.

Earlier, two senior U.S. officials told The Associated Press that Afghanistan had sought specific security guarantees, particularly against cross-border incursions by insurgents from neighboring Pakistan. Washington is cautious about any commitments that could lead to a conflict with Pakistan. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was still being negotiated.

Karzai described a laborious negotiation process that sometimes came down to fine details of phrasing.

“There was one word that we didn't want in the agreement but (the U.S.) wanted it and in the end they agreed to not use that word,” he said, without identifying the offending word.

Karzai did not say what the draft said regarding U.S. service members' immunity from prosecution in an Afghan court. They could still face prosecution in a U.S. court.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me