-Beijing: A suicide bomber blew himself up near the Afghan Defense Ministry compound in the capital city Kabul on Saturday leaving nine people dead and injuring 10 others, police confirmed.
"Nine people, all civilians were martyred and 10 others, including eight civilians and two military personnel were injured, "a police official Daud Amin told journalists at the site of the blast.
Meantime, Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi in talks with media rejected inflicting casualties to military personnel, saying all the victims were non-combatants.
Azimi also stated that the blast took place 30 km away from the Defense Ministry compound on a busy road leading to down town Kabul city and the bomber drove a car was also killed in his blast.
The blast coincided with the visit Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel to Afghanistan where he is expected to call President Hamid Karzai and exchange views on security situation in Afghanistan, remaining contingent of troops after 2014.
The U.S. military had scheduled to hand over the Bagram prison to Afghan government on Saturday but the program was canceled for today, according defense ministry officials.
Meantime, Zabihullah Mujahid who claims to speak for the Taliban outfit in talks with media via telephone from unknown location claimed of responsibility, saying a Taliban loyalist named Mohammad Kandahari blew himself up in defense ministry killing over a dozen military personnel, a claim rejected by military officials as groundless. (Xinhua-ANI)