Taliban claim responsibility for Kabul suicide blast
June 11, 2013 -- Updated 2258 GMT (0658 HKT)
An Afghan policeman stands guard in front of a badly damaged bus at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on June 11, 2013.
- NEW: NATO's International Security Assistance Force condemns the attack
- The bombing, which also was near the U.S. Embassy, injures 39
- Women and children were among the casualties
- The bombing comes as the Taliban have stepped up the fight against the coalition
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The Taliban claimed responsibility for Tuesday's suicide blast outside the Afghan Supreme Court, a brazen attack in the heart of Kabul that killed 17 people and wounded 39.
Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said in a statement e-mailed to media that government judges are oppressing and mistreating people in several parts of the country.
The blast, which occurred near the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday afternoon, comes amid the Taliban's spring offensive against Afghan government and coalition targets.
A bomber in a Toyota Corolla targeted a convoy of minibuses on their way out of the court compound to drop off staffers at their homes, said Hashmat Stanikzai, a spokesman for the city's police chief.
Fierce battle at Kabul airport
Firefight erupts near Kabul's airport
Deputy Police Chief Dawood Amin said two women and three children were among the 17 people slain. Eight women were among those injured, Amin said.
The Taliban statement said the militants had been following Supreme Court judges and high-ranking staff members for a long time before they launched the attack.
NATO's International Security Assistance Force condemned the attack.
"Once again the enemies of Afghanistan have demonstrated a complete lack of respect for human life," said Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, the ISAF commander. "The targeting of hard working Afghans on their way home from work is reprehensible."
The bomb detonated near Masoud Circle and "was designed to cause the maximum number of civilian casualties," the ISAF said.
"There's no other way to explain it. The extremists deliberately detonated a powerful bomb among a crowd of innocent Afghan civilians," Dunford said.
Insurgents have carried out many attacks across the country this spring. So far, at least 18 coalition soldiers have died in June.
2 children beheaded by militants, Afghan authorities say
Reports surfaced Monday of Taliban militants beheading two children in Kandahar province, acts that the militant group has denied.
On Monday, Taliban fighters armed with guns and explosives clashed with security forces after taking over a building near the airport in Kabul, the Afghan capital. The fighting ended with all seven attackers dead, Afghan officials said.
Last month, a suicide car bombing on a coalition convoy in central Kabul killed at least 12 people, six of them American and six Afghan. The insurgent group Hezb-e Islami claimed responsibility for that attack. The group is not under the Taliban leadership, but operates alongside them.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.