A suicide car bomb rocked the Afghan capital, Kabul, Saturday, killing
at least seven people and wounding more than 90, just days before the
country's presidential election.
Afghan officials say the bomber drove a car to the entrance of NATO headquarters, in one of the most heavily fortified sections of the capital, and detonated the explosives.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, the first such attack in Kabul in more than six months.
NATO says at least four of its soldiers are among the wounded, but most of the casualties appear to be Afghans. Four Afghan soldiers and a female lawmaker were also hurt in the attack.
The force of the blast rattled windows several kilometers away.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy (Fleur Cowan) said the American diplomatic compound, which is in the area, was not hit.
The Taliban has vowed to disrupt the country's presidential elections, which take place in just five days (on August 20). But Afghan President Hamid Karzai, himself running for reelection, says the attack will not deter Afghans from voting.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a statement condemning Saturday's suicide attack "in the strongest terms." He says he is "deeply concerned at this indiscriminate violence" days before Thursday's elections.
The U.S. has sent thousands of new troops to Afghanistan to help secure the country ahead of the vote.
In separate violence, defense officials say Afghan troops backed by U.S. forces killed at least 29 Taliban militants (late Friday) in Uruzgan province, in southern Afghanistan. Another two militants were killed in Paktika province, in the east.
Elsewhere, Afghan officials say five rockets were fired at the airport in the western province of Herat late Friday. There were no reports of casualties.