A powerful car bomb has exploded in the center of the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 20 others.
Witnesses say back-to-back blasts occurred in a crowded downtown area near the Ministry of Information and Culture. The first blast came from a bomb attached to a bicycle. The second and much larger explosion was detonated from a car after a crowd had gathered to see what happened.
Thousands of people fled in panic, as police sealed off the area.
No arrests have been reported, and there has been no claim of responsibility. But Kabul police officials are blaming Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network.
Earlier this week, Afghan factional leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar called for a jihad (holy war) to oust the post-Taleban government of President Hamid Karzai. He also urged his followers to drive U-S military forces from the country.
International peacekeepers say they suspect Mr. Hekmatyar was behind a series of earlier bombings in Kabul. They say he may have joined forces with remnants of al-Qaida and Afghanistan's ousted Taleban rulers.