MOSCOW, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Russia's embassy in Afghanistan on Tuesday denied reports Russian nationals were among victims of a terror attack in Kabul.
At least 12 people were killed Tuesday morning in a suicide car bombing, Afghan police said, with other reports claiming Russians may have been among the victims.
"Reports claiming that Russian citizens were killed in the terror attack have not been confirmed," Interfax news agency quoted the Russian embassy's press officer Stepan Anikeyev as saying.
A suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a minibus carrying foreign staff of a local company at around 6:45 a.m. local time (GMT 0215), killing eight foreigners and a local driver named Ahmad Zia on the spot, Gen. Mohammad Zahir, head of criminal investigation department of Kabul police, told Xinhua.
According to Anikeyev, three minibuses used by a private South African company serving the U.S. embassy's air fleet were travelling in convoy when the first bus came under attack.
All people on board the bus were killed, said Anikeyev, adding no Russian nationals were in it.
Investigators said three passers-by were also killed and two security officials were injured by the bombing. Government troops cordoned off the area shortly after the blast.
Meantime, Hezb-e-Islami of Afghanistan, the second largest insurgent group in the country, claimed responsibility for the attack.
A spokesman for the group told local media a female suicide bomber targeted and killed nine foreigners in retaliation for an anti-Islam film produced by a Jewish American.
The film, titled "Innocence of Muslims," mocks the Prophet Mohammed and has triggered widespread protests across the Muslim world.