Bomb Kills 6 in Kabul After Draft Deal Allows US Troops to Stay Beyond 2014

MGN Online
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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The Afghan capital has been hit with a suicide bombing, hours after President Hamid Karzai announced U.S. and Afghan negotiators had agreed on a draft deal allowing U.S. troops to remain in the country beyond 2014.

Officials say the car bomber attacked security forces protecting the site where thousands of tribal leaders are to gather next week to discuss the deal. Six people were killed and 22 wounded.

The Defense Ministry says a vehicle packed with explosives rammed into an armored vehicle posted about 200 yards from the giant tent where the meeting is to be held.

An Interior Ministry spokesman says security forces had prior knowledge of the attack but were unable to stop it. He did not elaborate.

Karzai has called 3,000 elders, clerics, parliamentarians and other influential figures to debate the Bilateral Security Agreement, which would allow U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan after the final withdrawal of international combat troops at the end of 2014.

Karzai says without the approval of the assembly, known as the Loya Jirga (LOY'-uh JUR'-guh), the agreement most likely won't be signed. If it is approved, it still must be voted on by the parliament.