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Kabul blast kills at least eight

Kabul blast kills at least eight
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A suicide car bomb attack outside a hotel in Kabul has killed at least eight people.

The hotel is used by foreigners in the main diplomatic area, and is across the street from the home of an ex-vice president. His home was badly damaged. The Taliban has reportedly claimed responsibility.

The blast happened as President Hamid Karzai was expected to attend an anti-corruption conference elsewhere in the Afghan capital.

This week Karzai is also due to announce his new cabinet after his re-election in a poll that was marred by accusations of widespread fraud.

Western officials are putting pressure on Karzai to keep technocrats in key positions, amid concern that powerful regional chiefs have had too much influence in previous cabinet line-ups.

The latest violence also comes just days before the first batch of a new deployment of American soldiers is due to arrive in Afghanistan.

President Obama announced earlier this month that he would deploy an extra 30,000 soldiers as part of new efforts to fight a resurgent Taliban.

This will be on top of the 113,000 foreign troops already serving in Afghanistan.

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