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Afghan Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi, right, walks with Panetta to the interior ministry in Kabul earlier today. Musadeq Sadeq/AP/Press Association Images

Vehicle explodes on Afghan runway as US Defence Secretary's plane lands

It is not immediately clear if Leon Panetta was being targeted in the incident.

THE PENTAGON SAYS an Afghan drove an apparently stolen vehicle onto the ramp area of a British airfield in southern Afghanistan and into a ditch, where it exploded in flames.

The incident happened about the same time US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta’s aircraft was landing. A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Captain John Kirby, said no one in Panetta’s party was injured.

Kirby said the vehicle, a pickup truck, drove at high speed onto the ramp where Panetta’s plane was intended to stop.

He said there was no immediate indication that the Afghan was attempting to attack Panetta’s party, but the circumstances were still being pieced together.

Initial reports said no explosive devices were found in the vehicle or in a search of the driver. Kirby said the driver was being treated for burn injuries.

Associated Foreign Press
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