Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — Five U.S. service members were among the 18 people killed in a suicide car bombing Tuesday in Kabul, a U.S. defense official confirmed.
Women, children and a NATO-led soldier also were killed when the bomb exploded near a registration center for Afghan Army recruits, officials said.
The attack occurred near an International Security Assistance Force military convoy on a busy road, ISAF said.
“ISAF strongly condemns the attack on civilians and ISAF Forces. This sort of desperate brutality and aggression reminds us of the pessimism of an enemy who seek to kill the innocent and to stop the progress necessary for a better Afghanistan,” said Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, an ISAF spokesman.
Courtesy of: CNN
Along with the international service members, at least 12 civilians were killed and 48 others were injured, local medical officials said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which could be the deadliest on ISAF soldiers in Kabul this year.
The blast occurred in an area usually fortified with security, near the parliament and other government buildings in Afghanistan’s capital city.
Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the attack occurred at 8:15 a.m. (11:45 p.m. Monday ET), and that the attacker was able to “destroy five foreign vehicles and damage one more.”
A NATO spokesman confirmed that five U.S. military vehicles were destroyed along with 13 civilian vehicles.
One of the civilian vehicles was a bus filled with people.
Hours after the blast, a nearby field was littered with charred body parts, some thrown hundreds of meters from the blast site.
In a statement, the U.S. Embassy condemned the bombing.
CNN’s Atia Abawi contributed to this report.