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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Convoy Hit By Car Bomb

APAfghan officers questioning a youth near the explosion in Kabul on Monday.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- A suicide car bomber exploded his car next to a three-vehicle U.S. Embassy convoy on a busy road in Kabul on Monday, killing an Afghan teenager and wounding five embassy security personnel, officials said.

The blast, witnessed by a reporter, badly damaged the front of one SUV that was propelled to the other side of the road. First aid was administered to at least two people at the scene. The two other vehicles in the convoy were also damaged, and flames shot through the wreckage of the suicide car bomb after the blast.

A 15-year-old Afghan was killed, the district police chief Hasib Arian said. Five security personnel working for the U.S. Embassy were wounded in the blast, one of them seriously, said Colonel Tom Collins, spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

U.S. ambassador Ronald Neumann was not in the convoy, said embassy official Joe Mellott. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said by telephone that a Taliban militant from Khost province carried out the attack. The explosion occurred about 3 kilometers from the embassy on a road often targeted in bombings and rocket attacks. The road leads out of Kabul and to the U.S. base at Bagram.

The suicide bombing was the first in Afghanistan's capital since December, and the U.S. Embassy closed down and sent out a warning to Americans living in Kabul.

French soldiers -- part of the NATO-led security force that patrols the Afghan capital -- scoured nearby fields for evidence as British and American soldiers secured the area.

The reporter, who was traveling in a vehicle about 50 to 70 meters behind the convoy when the bomb went off, escaped injury. U.S. Embassy security teams initially prevented Afghan police, NATO soldiers and journalists from getting close to the vehicles, which upset Afghan police.

"When I reached the bomb site, I told them, 'I am the chief of district No. 9. It is my duty to investigate, let me go,' said Arian. "But they didn't listen. They pushed me, they humiliated me."

Late last month, a suicide bomber killed 23 people outside the U.S. base at Bagram during a visit by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. In September, a suicide bombing near the U.S. Embassy killed 16 people, including two U.S. soldiers.

Afghanistan has seen an upsurge in violence over the past year as militant supporters of the former Taliban regime have stepped up attacks and increasingly embraced deadly tactics such as suicide and roadside bombings.