Nine killed in Kabul bike suicide bomb attack

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A suicide bomber on a bicycle struck outside the Afghan defence ministry in Kabul yesterday, killing at least nine Afghan civilians.

The Taleban claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was meant as a message to US defence secretary Chuck Hagel, who was visiting Kabul.

A Pentagon spokesman said Hagel was in a briefing at a US-led military coalition facility in another part of the city when the explosion occurred and the briefing continued without interruption. The bomber struck just before 9am local time about 30 yards from the main gate of the ministry.