At least six Americans and six Afghan citizens were killed after a convoy carrying two American soldiers and four contractors was targeted by a suicide bomber. NBC's Atia Abawi reports.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Six Americans were among at least 15 people killed when a suicide bomber targeted a convoy carrying foreign troops in Kabul on Thursday, NATO sources and local officials said.
The American victims included two soldiers and four civilian contractors, the NATO source added.
Two children were among the Afghan victims, Afghan officials said.
About 40 people were injured in the powerful blast, which took place at around 8 a.m. local time (11.30 p.m. ET Wednesday).
Kabul police spokesman Hashmatullah Stanikzai said the attacker detonated a Toyota Corolla.
"It was a powerful explosion and some of the dead civilians were badly burned and cannot be recognized," Kane Backlash, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Health Ministry, told Reuters.
Hizb-i-Islami, an insurgent group which is allied with the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack. In September, the group said it had launched an attack near Kabul's airport that police said killed 12 people.
Afghan officials said nine Afghan civilians were killed, including two children.
"Some of the dead civilians were badly burnt and cannot be recognized," Kaneshka Baktash, a spokesman for the Health Ministry, told Reuters.
Helicopters buzzed over Kabul's diplomatic area after the attack and sirens whined.
President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the "cowardly" attack. "Terrorists and enemies of Afghanistan's peace brutally targeted a residential area," Karzai said in a statement.
Reuters contributed to this report.
This story was originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:49 AM EDT