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Afghanistan Election

Twin Blasts Hit Afghan Presidential Frontrunner Abdullah’s Convoy

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two suicide car bombs targeted the convoy Afghan presidential front runner Abdullah Abdullah on Friday, killing six people but leaving the former foreign minister unhurt.

At least 23 people were injured when the explosions struck the vehicles traveling through western Kabul, according to Ministry of the Interior spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.

While the SUV carrying Abdullah was destroyed after a vehicle — which a police source told NBC News was placed in a Toyota Corolla — slammed into it, the candidate appeared at a campaign rally within a half hour and assured the audience that he was unscathed.

Within seconds of the first blast, a second car bomb hit the car Abdullah's running-mate, Mohammad Khan. While his vehicle was destroyed, Kahn was unhurt, according to Abdullah's spokesperson Fazel Sancharaki.

The blasts killed three civilians and three of Abdullah's guards, Sancharaki added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which was promptly condemned by the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

Afghans voted on April 5 in the first round of the election to pick a successor to President Hamid Karzai, who is barred by the constitution from standing for a third term after more than a decade in power. The vote headed to a runoff between Abdullah and ex-Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

The Taliban changed its military leadership after the first round, denying that commander Mullah Abdul Qayoum, who had been held by ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee, had been fired because he failed to stop a large numbers of Afghans from voting.

- Fazul Rahim and F. Brinley Bruton