8 Killed in Blast at Kabul Market Frequented by Foreigners

A bomb exploded inside a grocery store frequented by foreigners on Friday in Kabul, killing at least eight people and injuring others, police and eyewitnesses said.

Three foreigners and a child were among the dead, Kabul Police Chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi told reporters at the scene.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the attack was against a U.S.-based security contractor.

The explosion, which also injured six other people, ignited a fire inside the store. Mounds of canned goods and other merchandise were strewn across the floor of the smoke-filled building, making it difficult for police officers to walk around.

"I was inside the store," Mary Hayden, a Western consultant, said recounting the attack. "To my left, I heard a gunshot. A bomb went off. Everyone was running to the back of the building."

A large plume of gray smoke was seen above the store, which is situated in the heavily guarded Wazir Akbar Khan district, an area favored by foreigners and wealthy Afghans.

In a text message sent to reporters, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid wrote: "It was an attack on the chief of Blackwater."

Blackwater Worldwide, based in North Carolina, is now called Xe Services.

The police chief said investigators had not yet confirmed whether the attack was conducted by a suicide bomber.(AP)