21 Oct 2013

Ex-MP narrowly escapes suicide bomb in Kabul

11:19 am on 21 October 2013

Former New Zealand MP Chris Carter has narrowly escaped being caught in a bomb blast in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber attacked an American military convoy outside his Kabul home.

Six members of an Afghan family driving past were killed and four US soldiers in the convoy were seriously injured in the blast on Friday night.

Chris Carter.

Chris Carter. Photo: NZ PARLIAMENT

The former Labour MP was about to leave his compound when the bomb went off. He was about 25 metres from the bomb and said only the fact that a friend who was leaving the compound with him was running late saved him.

It was an enormous explosion, flames and smoke shot about 20 metres into the air and a rush of air pressure hit him, he said.

"I was perilously close ... I was just about to leave the compound where I live and the bomb went off. I was very lucky because I was just a few minutes late - if we'd left a few minutes earlier could have been caught in the blast."

Mr Carter has been working for the United Nations Development Programme in Kabul for the past two years.

Although it was the first bombing he has witnessed, it is part of life in Afghanistan and has not deterred him from finishing his work with the UN there.