(Reuters) - A suicide bomber blew up a mini-bus carrying foreign and local contract workers near Kabul airport in Afghanistan today, with at least nine bodies lying near the wreckage, a Reuters witness at the scene said.
Eight of those killed were foreign workers for an international courier company, a senior police source said, while the other was an Afghan translator.
Eight Afghan workers were injured in the blast.
Afghan insurgent group Hezb-e-Islami claimed responsibility for the suicide attack and said it was launched in retaliation for a film mocking the Prophet Muhammad.
“A woman wearing a suicide vest blew herself up in response to the anti-Islam video,” said Zubair Sediqqi, a spokesman for the militant faction, which does not usually carry out such attacks.
The attack underscored growing anger in Afghanistan over the film, which has enraged much of the Muslim world and led to the killing last week of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.
Thousands of protesters clashed with police in the Afghan capital yesterday, burning cars and hurling rocks at security forces in the worst outbreak of violence since February rioting over the inadvertent burning of Korans by US soldiers.
The suicide attack was the first in Kabul involving a woman and the foreigners killed were mostly Russian and South African pilots working for an international courier company, senior police sources said.
The toll was the highest on foreigners in the city since last April when an Afghan air force pilot gunned down eight US military flight instructors and an American civilian adviser after an argument at Kabul International Airport.
Hezb-e-Islami, which means Islamic Party, is a radical militant group which shares some of the Taliban’s anti-foreigner, anti-government aims.