Anja Niedringhaus / AP
Afghan police secure the area after a car bomb detonated outside an ISAF civilian personnel compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday.
KABUL, Afghanistan – A suicide car bomb attack rocked a convoy of foreign contractors in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Friday, causing loud explosions followed by a burst of gunfire.
At least two Afghan civilians were killed in the attack, at the entrance of a high-security international zone, according to local police chief Colonel Hafiz Amin.
"A two car convoy, carrying foreign contractors, was hit by a suicide-bomb laden sedan, which destroyed one car completely and partially damaged the other car,” Amin said.
“There were casualties of those contractors but they have been taken back into the camp, so the number of casualties cannot be confirmed by the police. Two Afghan civilian passers-by, a husband and wife, were killed as a result of the explosion."
The attack, which began at about 5.15 p.m. local time (8.45 a.m. ET) was brought under control after about one hour.
“The attack is done, and the area has been cordoned off,” Amin said.
The convoy was hit near the Green Village, a residence for military contractors and other international staff.
Security sources said the gunfire came from local guards responding to the attack.
There were conflicting reports on whether the walls of the compound had been breached, Reuters reported.
“First there was an explosion in front of Green Village which destroyed two or three vehicles belonging to foreign forces, and after that a number of insurgents entered inside the compound, fighting Afghan forces,'' a police official told Reuters,
But a second security source said fighting had taken place on the street outside the compound.
The compound is located on the main highway connecting Kabul to the eastern city of Jalalabad and is surrounded by layers of blast walls and has dozens of armed guards.
It was the target of a similar attack last year that left at least eight people dead and around 20 wounded.
NBC News’ Alastair Jamieson, and Reuters, contributed to this report.
First published October 18 2013, 7:31 AM