updated 10/25/2005 2:04:25 AM ET 2005-10-25T06:04:25

Militants fired rockets at a U.S.-led coalition convoy near Kabul but missed and instead hit civilian cars, killing four Afghans, police said Tuesday.

Three other civilians were wounded in the attack late Monday about 10 miles south of Kabul on a main road, said Khan Mohammed, the police chief in Logar province.

He blamed the Taliban for the assault, one of the deadliest in recent months near the capital, home to thousands of foreign aid workers, diplomats and others. The city of 4 million is heavily guarded and has been spared much of the bloodshed that wracks other parts of the country.

The civilian cars were traveling close behind five military Humvee vehicles when they were hit by two rockets and small-arms fire, Mohammed said.

A child was among the dead, he said.

The police chief said extra security forces have been rushed to the area and have surrounded a run-down fort where the assailants are suspected to be hiding.

Coalition spokeswoman Sgt. Marina Evans said she had no details on the attack.

Taliban-led rebels have stepped up violence in the past half-year and killed more than 1,400 people. The bloodshed has left many southern and eastern regions off-limits to aid workers and raised fears for this country’s fragile democracy.

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