Two suicide bombings in Afghanistan have killed at least 18 people on a day that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is visiting the capital, Kabul.
A suicide bomber on a bicycle struck outside the Afghan Defense Ministry and about a half hour later another suicide bomber attacked a police checkpoint in Khost city, the capital of Khost province in eastern Afghanistan.
The Taliban claimed the Kabul bombing, which killed nine, saying it was a message to Hagel. The bombing in Khost killed one officer and eight civilians.
Pentagon spokesman George Little says the secretary was in a briefing at a U.S.-led military coalition facility in another part of the city when the Kabul explosion occurred.
Reporters traveling with Hagel were moved to a lower floor of the building where they were attending the briefing. U.S. facilities in downtown Kabul were locked down as a security precaution.