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Suicide Bombings Kill 18 in Afghanistan

Military-Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A pair of suicide bombings in Afghanistan has killed 18 people on a day that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is visiting the capital, Kabul.

The Taliban claimed the Kabul bombing, which killed nine, saying it was a message to Hagel. The other bombing at a police station in Khost province and killed a policeman and eight civilians.

Pentagon spokesman George Little says the secretary was in a briefing at a U.S.-led military coalition facility in another part of the city when the Kabul explosion occurred.

Reporters traveling with Hagel were moved to a lower floor of the building where they were attending the briefing. U.S. facilities in downtown Kabul were locked down as a security precaution.