Explosion Hits Kabul During Press Briefing By New US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

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    Ambulances arrive outside the Afghan Defense Ministry after a suicide bomber on a bicycle struck outside the ministry, killing at least nine Afghan civilians as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, March 9, 2013.  (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

    Ambulances arrive outside the Afghan Defense Ministry after a suicide bomber on a bicycle struck outside the ministry, killing at least nine Afghan civilians as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, March 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)


    A suicide bomb exploded outside the Afghan Defense Ministry on March 9, killing at least three civilians and wounding at least six others according to BBC sources.

    The explosion took place soon after new U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in the country.

    CNN writes that the explosion took place as Hagel was giving a press conference, forcing the event to move to a safer location.

     

    Read more from GlobalPost: Hagel makes surprise visit to Kabul

    According to the BBC, the explosion was followed by “the sound of heavy gunfire,” while Kabul police chief Mohammad Zahir said that the situation was under control, and victims had been transported to area hospitals.

    The attack took place around 9:00 AM, carried out by a suicide bomber riding a bicycle, writes CBS, and authorities are stll trying to ascertain the number of casualties, which CBS lists as seven killed and six wounded.

    “We are still at war,” said Hagel at the March 9 press conference.

    “That transition has to be done right, it has to be done in partnership with the Afghans, with our allies,” he added. “Our country as well as Afghanistan, the region, and the allies have a lot at stake here. And our continued focus and energy and attention on Afghanistan is going to be very important.”

    This article originally was published in Global Post.


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