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Shoot-Out In Afghan Capital Leaves Two Foreigners, Afghan Dead

Three people, including two foreign nationals, have been killed and two others wounded by unknown gunmen in downtown Kabul.

The city's deputy police chief, Alishah Ahmadzai, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the shooting took place at about 10 a.m. outside the offices of the international shipping company DHL. He said the three people killed all worked at DHL, and the two slain foreigners were German nationals.

DHL officials in Germany told news agencies they were unable to confirm any details of the attack at this stage.

The attack happened in the Sher Pul area, where many foreigners live and work. An eyewitness, who did not want to give his name, told Radio Free Afghanistan's correspondent in Kabul that the shooting caused panic among passersby.

"We heard gunfire. It was continuous shooting," the man said. "Some people said there were exchange of fire between security forces and foreigners. We don't know. We only heard gunfire and we had to lay down on the ground because of the firing bullets."

It was the second fatal attack against foreigners in Kabul after a female aid worker was shot dead on October 20 on her way to work. The 34-years-old dual citizen of Britain and South Africa, Gayle Williams, had been working for the SERVE Afghanistan aid group helping disabled Afghans.

Taliban militants claimed responsibility for that killing, saying the aid organization preached Christianity. SERVE denies the charge.

Three foreign women were also killed in Afghanistan in August.

The rising violence has prompted hundreds of international organizations and aid groups to step up security measures with many foreigners restricting their travel around the country and employing security guards.

with agency reporting