US condemns attack on British office in Kabul
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday condemned suicide bombings at Britain's cultural center in Kabul, vowing such a deadly attack will not undermine allied resolve in Afghanistan.
"The United States strongly condemns the vicious and cowardly attack in Kabul on the British Council, an institution that is dedicated to improving the lives of Afghans," Clinton said in a statement.
The chief US diplomat offered "heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones" of the victims.
"Brutal attacks such as these will not lessen our resolve or our commitment to Afghanistan and the region," she said.
"The United States will continue to support the Afghan people and to assist the Afghan government, security forces, and civil society as they rebuild after decades of war," the secretary said.
"We are committed to a common vision of a stable, independent Afghanistan rid of the insurgency and free from Al-Qaeda," she said.
Nine people including a New Zealand special forces soldier died as suicide bombers attacked the British Council on Friday, a holiday marking Afghan independence from London in 1919.
Militants blasted their way into the British Council compound at dawn by blowing up two car bombs at the gates.
Four Taliban suicide bombers in burqas got inside, unleashing a string of loud explosions that caused thick smoke to billow from the building as foreign and Afghan forces engaged militants in fierce gunfights for the next nine hours.
It was the latest high-profile strike to underline fragile security in the Afghan capital as US-led NATO combat troops start leaving Afghanistan. They are all due to withdraw by the end of 2014.
© 2011 AFP