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Australian embassy officials hurt in kitchen blast

Two Australian embassy officials  have been evacuated from Afghanistan to Germany after suffering serious injuries when a gas stove exploded in the kitchen of their residence in Kabul.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said there were no indications last Thursday’s incident was terrorism-related and have launched an investigation into the explosion’s cause.

The families of the two embassy workers flew to Germany on Friday with the assistance of the federal government.

Adepartment spokesman said the two Australians, who were working for Australia’s embassy in Kabul, were being treated and were in a stable condition. The families, he said, have requested privacy. The department had not publicly released any information about the incident until The Age requested details yesterday.

The Age understands at least of the injured was a young woman with connections in Melbourne.

In announcing a new defence white paper yesterday, prime minister Julia Gillard said Australia needed to bring the strategic review forward to accommodate its global shift to the Asia-Pacific region and the nation’s planned transition out of Afghanistan.

US president Barack Obama visited Kabul this week.  A few hours later a car bomb exploded at the entrance to the ‘‘Green Village’’, the city’s hub of foreign guest houses. A second bomber blew himself up inside the fortified walls, killing at least eight people.

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