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7 killed in Kabul suicide attack after Obama's surprise visit

A suicide car bomber and Taliban militants disguised in burqas attacked a compound housing hundreds of Westerners in Kabul today hours after Barack Obama departed the Afghan capital.

Obama afghanistan surprise visit bin laden one year anniversaryEnlarge
US President Barack Obama is greeted by Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparrotti and US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker on May 1, 2012 upon arrival at Bagram Air Field, some 50km north of Kabul. Obama arrived in Afghanistan for a previously unannounced visit. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A suicide car bomber and Taliban militants disguised in burqas attacked a compound housing hundreds of Westerners in Kabul today hours after Barack Obama departed the Afghan capital.

According to The New York Times, seven Afghans were killed in the attack, while 18 had been hospitalized — including schoolchildren.

The attack started around 6 a.m, the Associated Press reported, adding that explosions and gunfire were heard near the guarded compound known as Green Village, used mainly by international contractors. 

Militants had reportedly stormed the compound, shooting and setting off explosives.

The Taliban said it was in response to Obama's visit and to the long-term strategic partnership deal he signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a pact that sets out a long-term U.S. role after most foreign combat troops leave by the end of 2014.

According to Reuters, a guard compound was among those killed.

The AP also cited a NATO official as saying that all the attackers had been killed, without offering details.

Meantime, Agence France-Presse reported that the car bomb exploded on Jalalabad road, where there are several foreign military bases.

Soon after the attack occurred, the US Embassy took to Twitter, posting:: "Duck and cover here at the embassy. Not a drill — avoid the area."

The NATO-led security mission in the country, the International Security Assistance Force, tweeted: "We are aware of explosions in the Kabul area. We are assessing the situation and will provide info as appropriate."

That came shortly after another tweet from "Combat Journalist" that said: "US Embassy Kabul on high alert following two explosions in Kabul." 

More from GlobalPost: Obama visits Afghanistan on bin Laden's death anniversary

President Barack Obama flew into Afghanistan this morning on the one-year anniversary of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's death in a US Navy Seals raid in Pakistan.

He signed a pact with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to cover the decade after the planned final withdrawal of US combat troops in 2014.

Reuters cited the Taliban as saying that the attack was in response to Obama's visit, and to the signing of the long-term strategic partnership deal

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/afghanistan/120501/suicide-car-bomb-kabul-president-barack-obama-