Afghanistan: Taliban militant killed himself and wounded seven

A purported &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Taliban militant with grenades strapped to his body detonated them on a bustling Kabul shopping street popular with foreigners Saturday, killing himself and wounding seven others, including three NATO soldiers, Afghan and U.S. officials said.

The bombing broke a lull in violence in Kabul following a security clampdown for landmark presidential elections that U.S.-backed interim leader &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Hamid Karzaiappeared set to win.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the assault, which left the bomber's mutilated body slumped between the soldiers' car and the front of a carpet store, says ABC News.

According to the Channel News Asia, the &to=http:// ' target=_blank>suicide blast, along with a roadside bombing that injured a US soldier, overshadowed progress in the election count, which US-backed interim leader Karzai looked certain to win with 81.1 percent of the votes tallied by 5:43 pm (1313 GMT) on Saturday.

The latest count released on the official electoral website showed Karzai had won 3,574,203 votes, or 54.6 percent, of the 6,628,072 ballots counted following the landmark October 9 poll.

His nearest rival, former education minister and ethnic Tajik Yunus Qanooni, had 17.0 percent of the vote.

Hazara warlord Mohammad Mohaqiq was in third place with 11.1 percent of the vote after his vote climbed 0.7 percentage points throughout the day's counting.

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