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Suicide Bomb Hits Afghan Capital Days Before Security Talks

Dozens of people are dead or injured after a suicide car bomb exploded on the western edge of the Afghan capital Kabul.
Posted at 2:51 PM, Nov 16, 2013

Just hours after negotiators from the U.S. and Afghanistan completed a draft of a controversial security agreement between the two countries, a suicide car bomb exploded in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

The BBC reports at least 10 people died and more than 20 were wounded after the bomb went off, but officials say casualties are expected to increase.

A police officer is reportedly among the dead, and many of the other casualties appear to have been civilians. The blast destroyed nearly a dozen cars and shops nearby. (Via Sky News)

According to police, the attacker smashed a car filled with explosives into an army vehicle after soldiers recognized it as a threat and began shooting. (Via CBC)

The bomb apparently went off near a compound where a group of thousands of tribal elders, called the Loya Jirga, are expected to convene Thursday to discuss a controversial security pact with the U.S. (Via The Washington Post)

The bilateral security agreement would allow U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan after the final withdrawal of international combat troops at the end of 2014. It also addresses other issues like whether U.S. military personnel will have immunity from prosecution in Afghanistan.

"No agreement means the U.S. might pull out completely. Two years ago, it was a similar lack of agreement that led to the U.S. completely pulling out of Iraq." (Via Euronews)

Without the approval of tribal elders, Afghanistan reportedly isn't likely to sign the agreement. But even if the elders do approve, it still needs a final nod from parliament before it can go into effect.

According to Al Jazeera, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said negotiators from the U.S. and Afghanistan had completed a draft just hours before the car bomb exploded. But he added there were "still some differences." 

No one has claimed responsiblity for the attack.