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Attack Near Kabul Airport Targets U.S. Convoy

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on a compound for civilian contractors near the Kabul airport on Monday, a senior security official said, hours after another suicide bomber blew himself up.

A convoy of U.S. embassy guards who live at Camp Sullivan was targeted in the second attack, the official said, but none of the guards were injured. The Ministry of Public Health said 19 civilians in the area were injured and taken to various hospitals, but there were no indications they are Americans.

The official added that the attacker missed the convoy and detonated the explosives at the gate that leads to Camp Sullivan, a residential compound for civilian contractors attached to Camp Baron.

"The car bomb detonated at the gate of Camp Baron on the military side of Kabul airport," a spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior Sediq Sediqqi confirmed.

The explosion was the second in the same area on the same day. On Monday morning, a suicide car bomb exploded at a police checkpoint after the driver refused to stop. No one was injured in that attack.

Overnight, insurgents battled with Afghan forces near the Indian consulate in the northern town of Mazar-e-Sharif. Three civilians were injured in the attacks, the Balkh province police chief told NBC News. The operation to contain the insurgents lasted through the night and into Monday morning.

Afghanistan has had a tense and violent start to the new year, as talks to revive the peace process loom next week. The winter in Afghanistan usually sees a lull in insurgent violence.

On Friday, a suicide bomber attacked a French restaurant popular with foreigners in Kabul, killing two people and injuring 18 others.