A British security contractor was among three killed as a Taliban suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car near the international airport in Afghanistan's capital on Sunday.
The attack appears to have targeted vehicles of the European Union police (EUPOL) training mission, 200 metres from Kabul airport on a road leading to a nearby Nato military installation.
The male British national, who has not been named, was travelling in the foreign mission vehicle rammed by the terrorists' Toyota Coroll, but was not a member of EUPOL.
Philip Hammond, the British foreign secretary, said in a statement: “This is the second attack in a matter of days for which the Taliban have claimed responsibility and I strongly condemn their cowardly actions.
"I can confirm that a British security contractor is among those killed in the attack. His family has been informed and my thoughts are with them at this incredibly difficult time. Consular staff stand ready to provide support."
EUPOL spokesman Sari Haukka-Konu said all the mission's personnel "are in a safe place" with non-fatal injuries.
"All mission members who were in the vehicle are in a safe place and their injuries are not believed to be fatal," she told The Associated Press. "A non-EUPOL person inside the vehicle is deceased."
The other two confirmed victims were Afghan, believed to have been teenage girls described by Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi as "passers-by".
Eighteen people were wounded, including eight women and three children.
The car bomb was detonated near the office of the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority, which is a few hundred yards from the airport terminal, early on Sunday morning, said Najib Danish, the deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry.
Nearby homes and shops were damaged, and the road – choked with traffic throughout the day as vehicles pass through a slow-moving checkpoint into the airport – was strewn with the charred remains of a number of cars.
Danish said that one foreign vehicle and two civilian vehicles were damaged in the blast. EUPOL's Haukka-Konu said two of the mission's cars were moving in convoy "but only one was involved in the blast."
A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement emailed to media. The Taliban, who have waged war in Afghanistan for more than a decade, launched their warm weather offensive in late April.
The insurgents claimed responsibility for an attack on a Kabul guesthouse last week that left 14 people dead, including nine foreigners.
Earlier Sunday, a magnetic bomb attached to a vehicle exploded in the eastern suburbs of Kabul, wounding one person, Sediqqi said. And late Saturday, an explosion inside the campus of Kabul University wounded two people, he said.