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    Blasts greet William Hague in Kabul


    by ODN


    Sporadic loud blasts have been heard in the Afghan capital of Kabul as dozens of foreign ministers, including William Hague, slept before a conference on the country's future.

    Security has been drastically tightened in the capital for the conference, with the area that houses the capital's diplomatic and government quarter under virtual lockdown.

    At least four loud blasts were heard near the heavily barricaded and fortified area around midnight, although Kabul is frequently the target of bloody suicide bomb and commando-style attacks.

    Afghan security officials were not available to comment while a spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force said that while they had heard the blasts, they had no information about them.

    The Kabul Conference will hear Afghan President Hamid Karzai appeal for a greater say in how billions in development aid is spent as around 150,000 foreign troops tackle an increasingly bloody insurgency.

    Donors and other stakeholders are seeking commitments from the government that greater control won't be marked by corruption or incompetence and that Afghanistan is prepared to take on a bigger share of the war.