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Suicide Bomber Hits German Embassy Vehicle In Kabul

KABUL (Reuters) -- A suicide bomber has hit a German embassy vehicle in Kabul, killing three Afghan civilians, according to the government, in an attack claimed by the Taliban that left six wounded.

Violence has escalated this year in Afghanistan, the bloodiest period since Taliban's ouster in 2001, raising doubts about the prospects for stability despite increasing numbers of foreign troops in the country.

"It was a suicide attack on the German embassy car," Ali Shah Paktiawal, a senior Kabul police official told reporters near the scene.

The bomber was on foot when he attacked the embassy vehicle opposite a high school on the main road leading to the parliament building in the southwestern part of the city, he said.

Another police officer said the only occupant of the vehicle, its driver, escaped unhurt.

The embassy had no immediate comment on the blast, which residents said broke windows in several buildings nearby.

Police had cordoned off the site and the front of the four-wheel drive embassy vehicle was partially damaged, a Reuters witness said.

Over 4,000 people, more than a quarter of them civilians, have been killed so far this year in Afghanistan as militants extended the scope and size of their attacks.

The resurgent Al-Qaeda-backed Taliban, which has regrouped since 2005, rely heavily on suicide attacks and roadside bombs in their battle against the Western-backed government in Kabul and foreign troops under the command of NATO and the U.S. military.

It has carried out a series of high-profile raids in Kabul this year, including the abortive assassination bid against President Hamid Karzai and a suicide attack outside the Indian embassy in which nearly 60 people were killed.

The government says some members of its security forces had helped the Taliban in carrying out at least two of the high-profile attacks in Kabul.