Kabul car bomb kills 2 NATO troops, 4 contractors

KABUL, Afghanistan

A Muslim militant group, Hizb-e-Islami, claimed responsibility for the early morning attack and said it had formed a special "martyrdom" unit to attack foreign troops. The announcement could mean a steep escalation for the movement, which is based in northeastern Afghanistan and which has fought against the American-led coalition but is also a fierce rival of the Taliban.

Body parts littered the scene of the blast in eastern Kabul, and one coalition vehicle was reduced to a mangled pile of metal. The explosion was powerful enough to rattle buildings on the other side of the city.

NATO spokesman Lt. j.g. Quenton Roehricht said the international alliance can "confirm an explosion occurred on a coalition convoy in Kabul this morning," but provided no further details.

Kabul provincial police spokesman Hashmad Stanakzi said the suicide bomber attacked at about 8 a.m. with a car packed with explosives. "The explosion was very big. It set the nearby buildings on fire," Stanakzi said.

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