KABUL, Afghanistan — Two separate suicide attackers rammed car bombs into vehicles belonging to NATO-led peacekeepers Monday in Kabul, killing at least one German soldier and wounding at least 13 people in the first major attack on foreign troops in the capital in more than a year.

Peacekeepers opened fire on another vehicle after it traveled at high speed toward the scene of the attacks and failed to stop, killing all three people inside, said a local police commander, Pashtun, who uses only one name.

It was not clear if it had been an attempted third bombing. Security forces cordoned off the area and kept people from approaching the vehicle, fearing it might explode.

A purported Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attacks, although his exact link to the rebel leadership was uncertain.

The attacks come amid the deadliest year of rebel violence since the ouster of the Taliban in 2001, with almost 1,500 people killed nationwide.

The latest blasts underscored the challenge U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai faces as he struggles to shore up his nation's fledgling democracy and added to fears that insurgents in Afghanistan are copying tactics used in Iraq.

Kabul — patrolled by thousands of NATO peacekeepers — is regarded as one of the country's safest places, despite a flurry of kidnappings of foreigners over the past year. A suicide bombing in late September killed nine people outside an army training center.

The last major attack on the peacekeepers in the capital was in October 2004, when a militant detonated grenades strapped to his body on a shopping street, wounding three Icelandic security personnel and killing an American translator and an Afghan girl.

That came two months after a car bomb tore through the office of a U.S. contractor providing security for Karzai, killing 10 people. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

Militants have conducted eight suicide bombings nationwide in the past two months. Prior to that, such assaults were far less frequent.

Though there is no known link between the violence and foreign militants, senior Afghan officials have spoken in recent months of al-Qaida operatives entering the country to stage assaults, mostly from neighboring Pakistan.

The two bombings Monday occurred within 90 minutes of each other on a 500-yard stretch of road near the headquarters of organizers of last September's legislative elections.

At the first bombing, the body of the slain soldier was lying under a Mercedes four-wheel-drive military vehicle that bore the brunt of the blast. Troops carried one of the wounded soldiers on a stretcher to an ambulance.

Bits of a Toyota Corolla sedan that the attacker used were strewn across the road.

ISAF spokesman Capt. Michele Chortese said one German soldier had been killed and another two wounded. Five Afghans, including two police, also were wounded, Chortese said.

At the site of the second bombing, an Associated Press photographer saw a Greek jeep from the International Security Assistance Force on fire. Police said a car rammed into the ISAF vehicle before it exploded.

The Greek defense ministry said two Greek soldiers were lightly injured. It was first such attack involving Greek troops in Afghanistan, according to the ministry.

Afghan state television showed footage of a peacekeeper carrying an Afghan man whose legs had been blown off toward an ambulance. It showed another man lying motionless on the ground, naked and covered in blood.

Two Afghan journalists working for U.S.-sponsored Radio Liberty were slightly wounded in the blast, according to Nada Farat, a colleague at the station.

The attack showed "that there is not a stable, quiet situation in Afghanistan" and that the NATO force in Afghanistan was still needed, Germany Defense Minister Peter Struck said in Berlin.

He said German authorities knew of no specific plans to attack them.

"We are dealing with a permanent threat," Struck said.

Mullah Hanif, who said he was a spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

"Suicide attacks will increase. We will fight with every means to defeat the foreign forces," he said by satellite telephone from an undisclosed location. Purported Taliban spokesmen often claim responsibility for attacks using information that later proves exaggerated or untrue.

ISAF has about 12,000 soldiers from 36 nations in Afghanistan and is responsible for security in Kabul as well as northern and western regions of the country. A separate 20,000-strong U.S.-led coalition is in volatile eastern and southern parts of the country.

The last deadly attack on an ISAF soldier occurred Oct. 29, when a gunman shot dead one British soldier and wounded five others as they patrolled in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.