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Blast at Pakistan Embassy in Kabul

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    Blast at Pakistan Embassy in Kabul

    KABUL, July 10: The roof of the visa section of Pakistan embassy here was ripped off on Monday in an explosion that Afghanistan's ruling Taliban blamed on "terrorists."

    The explosion took place around 5:30am (0100 GMT) when the embassy was closed. It broke a few dozen windows in the area.

    Two officials at the embassy said it could have been a time-bomb triggered by remote control. Other reports said it was a grenade.

    "No one has been wounded, thankfully ... but there is considerable damage," one said. The Taliban blamed the blast on the opposition Northern Alliance led by Ahmed Shah Masood.

    "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly condemns such acts of terrorism by the opposition and draws once again international attention to these kinds of inhumane deeds...," a Taliban foreign ministry statement said.

    It said the opposition bombed the embassy to appease Russia which supported Masood in its war against the Taliban.

    Russia is unhappy with the Taliban because of its support for militants in the breakaway province of Chechnya.

    The Northern Alliance denied any involvement in the blast and said it could have been done by a dissident.

    The blast woke up residents in the neighbourhood in the most secure part of Kabul next to the residence of the Taliban's second in command, Mullah Mohammad Rabbani.

    Masood's forces are locked in intense fighting with the Taliban and accuse Pakistan of funding the Taliban and being directly involved in the Afghan fighting.

    The Pakistan embassy, the only functioning diplomatic mission in Kabul since the Taliban swept to power, was ransacked and looted in 1994 and 1995 by Masood supporters.
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