The Taliban is claiming responsibility for two homicide bombers in Afghanistan during Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's visit to the country. At least 18 people were killed, including eight children, in the separate attacks in Kabul and Khost.

Hagel expressed his sympathy to the victims’ families. “We’re at war,” he said. “[…] That’s just the reality.

We’re going to work with the Afghans and coalition partners to fight that war and to assure that the Afghan people have every ability and right to develop their own country, their own way, in a democracy.”

The Taliban said in a statement, “This was not a direct attack to target him (Hagel) but we want to send a message that we are always capable of hitting Kabul even when the U.S. defense official is there.”