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Car Bomb Kills Three In Kabul

May 21, 2006 -- Authorities in Kabul say a suicide car bomb exploded today in the east of the Afghan capital, killing three people, including the bomber.

The attack occurred on a road that links several bases belonging to the U.S.-led coalition and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

No military personnel were affected. The explosion set fire to several roadside stalls and a passing truck, killing its driver and a passing pedestrian.

The head of Kabul's rapid reaction force, General Mahbob Amiri, said it appeared the car bomb had exploded prematurely.

In southern Helmand Province, coalition forces and Afghan officials say one French and 13 local soldiers were killed in two separate firefights on May 20. At least nine Taliban were reported killed.

France's Defense Ministry earlier announced the deaths of two other French soldiers in neighboring Kandahar Province the same day.

Meanwhile, Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta said today at a news conference in Kabul that Taliban leaders are living in Pakistan and coordinating their attacks in Afghanistan from there.

(RFE/RL's Afghan Service, with AP, Reuters)