A female car bomber has killed at least 12 people, nine of them foreigners, this morning.
The attack took place at about 6:45 a.m. (0215 GMT) on the edge of the capital Kabul near the airport. The bomber blew herself up alongside a minivan, carrying foreigners who worked for the courier company ACS. Two police were wounded.
A senior police officer said six of the dead foreigners were Russian and South Africans. One of the Afghans killed was a street-side tyre fixer.
Hizb-i-Islami, the second-largest insurgent group after the Taliban, claimed responsibility, saying it was carried out to avenge the US-made film "The Innocence of Muslims". A spokesman claimed 14 employees of the US embassy in Kabul were killed in the Tuesday’s attack in which 200 kilograms of explosives were used.
Hizb-i-Islami is led by Gulbuddin Hekmatayar, who has vied for power for more than two decades. At times, he has been allied with the US, but he turned against the Americans during the war in Afghanistan after the attacks of 11 September 2001.
Tuesday's bombing follows a series of deadly events in which four US and two British soldiers were shot dead by suspected Afghan police, the Taliban destroyed six US fighter jets in an attack on a major base, and an airstrike killed eight Afghan women.
American officials say that most joint US-Afghan military operations have been suspended following the Sunday killing of the four US troops. “We’re to the point now where we can’t trust these people,” a senior military official said. "It's had a major impact on our ability to conduct combat operations with them, and we're going to have to back off to a certain degree."
The suspensions of the joint operations are indefinite: according to one official, they “could last three days or three months.