Afghanistan

Two Blasts Rock Kabul

Just one day after lifting an Afghan flag over Marja, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for a car bombing and suicide bombing in central Kabul that left at least 18 people dead and 32 wounded, The New York Times reports. The car bomb hit a guesthouse popular with Indians, while suicide bombers descended on another guesthouse popular with Britons and Americans. The latter sparked a 90-minute gun battle between security forces and other insurgents. The attacks occurred as American-led coalition forces descended on the southern province of Helmand, and a day after India and Pakistan's first diplomatic meeting since 2008's Mumbai bombing. According to a Taliban spokesman, at least five insurgents launched the attacks, including two suicide bombers, and "the actual targets are foreign people."