Fresh blasts in Kabul as Taliban claim responsibility

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The Taliban claimed responsibility for suicide attacks in Kabul Friday, saying they targeted British interests to mark Friday's Afghan independence day public holiday.

Meanwhile, an AFP reporter heard a third loud explosion at the scene, followed shortly after by a smaller, fourth blast.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP the attackers' target was a British cultural centre and a United Nations guest house.

"Taliban mujahedeen stormed these two compounds and heavy fighting is going on with the Afghan police," he said.

"Today is our independence day from Britain. They recognised our independence 92 years ago -- today's attack was marking that day.

"Now the British have invaded our country again and they will recognise our independence day again."

Afghanistan gained independence from Britain on August 19, 1919.

The British Embassy has said the British Council was targeted, while the UN denied any of its sites were involved.

Dan McNorton, a spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said: "Of course the UN is aware of this incident this morning in Kabul which is currently ongoing.

"No UN facility has been involved in this incident."

© 2011 AFP

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