80 killed in blast near diplomatic area in Afghanistan

Toby Manning
May 31, 2017

Scores of people were killed and injured on Wednesday after a massive vehicle bomb tore through central Kabul, striking at the heart of the Afghan capital's highly secure diplomatic neighborhood. The health ministry said the people injured were taken to various hospitals.

"The explosion took place where is located the German Embassy and also Japan Embassy and the coalition forces, and also a Russian company, a telecom company".

The BBC has confirmed that BBC Afghan driver Mohammed Nazir, who had worked with the broadcaster for four years and had a young family, died in the blast.

"Both the Taliban and Islamic State have stepped up attacks on Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan".

But a spokesperson said in a statement that the movement's fighters had no involvement and it condemned any such untargeted attacks that caused civilian casualties.

The Taliban - now in the midst of their annual "spring offensive" - tweeted that they were not involved and "strongly condemn" the attack.

The attack is one of the most serious seen in the Afghan capital for several months. Some Pakistani Embassy diplomats and staff suffered minor injuries, the Pakistani Prime Minister's office said. A spokesman for Taliban insurgents said he was gathering information.

Afghan officials estimated that 320 people were injured but warned that bodies and wounded people were still arriving at hospital.

"The toll has reached 80 martyred and over 300 wounded, including many women and children", said interior ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh, adding the figures would continue to climb as more bodies are pulled from the debris.

"It was a auto bomb near the German embassy, but there are several other important compounds and offices near there too", said Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid.

A suicide bomb attack hit near the German Embassy in Kabul during rush hour Wednesday morning, killing 80 people close to a highly secure diplomatic area, Afghan officials said.

The blast was the latest in a long line of attacks in the Afghan capital.

The blast, which shattered windows and blew doors off their hinges in houses hundreds of meters away, was unusually strong.

Some reports say the bomb was in a lorry or water tanker. Several German and Japanese nationals were injured in the blast, the countries' respective security services said.

The US has about 8400 troops in Afghanistan, with another 5000 from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Other reports by VgToday

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