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Annan condemns Kabul blast


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UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- U.N. head Kofi Annan has condemned the bombing of a Kabul Internet cafe that killed three people and has expressed concern about increasing violence in Afghanistan.

The blast on Sunday destroyed the cafe, a popular stop for Westerners in the Afghan capital, and killed a U.N. contractor.

An eyewitness said he saw a man run into the cafe before the explosion, and a Western security source said the attacker appeared to have two grenades strapped to his body.

In a statement issued Sunday evening, Annan offered condolences to the families of those killed and warned that violence was on the rise in Afghanistan, where a U.S.-led campaign toppled the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban militia after the September 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington.

In the statement, Annan called upon Afghanistan's government, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan and the coalition forces to take the necessary measures to address the security situation.

The dead in Sunday's bombing included an engineer from Myanmar who was working for the U.N. Office of Project Services, a U.N. spokeswoman said. Six Afghans were wounded in the blast as well, a U.N. statement said.

One of the dead was slumped in his chair in front of a computer, and bloodstains were seen at the site.

About 15,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, battling remnants of the Taliban in the Afghan countryside and searching for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Another 8,000 NATO troops have been assigned to ISAF, the international force that helps support the post-Taliban government of President Hamid Karzai.

U.S. and Afghan troops clashed with guerrillas last week in Zabul province in southeastern Afghanistan in a fight American commanders said killed 40 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, and left 11 U.S. and Afghan troops wounded.

An American soldier died in combat in late April, and five others were killed by land mines in March.

Journalist Nick Meo contributed to this report.


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