Bombing in diplomatic area of Kabul kills 80, wounds scores

At least 11 United States citizens were injured in a massive suicide bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, according to several USA officials.

In addition to the fatalities, 300 others were injured, the health ministry said.

Even though the Taliban claim they are only waging war against the Kabul government and foreign forces in Afghanistan, most casualties of their attacks have been civilians. German security sources said that an Afghan security guard at the embassy had been killed and several German staff hurt.

The ministry also said all staff members of the Indian embassy are safe in the explosion that took place in the close vicinity of the embassy premises.

The BBC said a driver for the broadcaster was killed and four of its journalists were injured.

Dimroth says the decision to postpone deportations was not due to a reassessment of the danger, but rather because the embassy in Kabul is not in a position to deal with the return of the deportees after being damaged in the attack.

"I have been to many attacks, taken wounded people out of many blast sites, but I can say I have ever seen such a frightful attack as I saw this morning", ambulance driver Alef Ahmadzai told The Associated Press. "These attacks also demonstrate the extreme level of atrocity by terrorists against innocent civilians".

The explosion damaged several embassies in the area, which houses diplomatic and government buildings and is a maze of concrete blast walls, vehicle barriers and armed security guards.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today strongly condemned the bomb blast in Kabul and underlined the need for defeating forces supporting terrorism.

"These heinous acts go against the values of humanity as well values of peaceful Afghans", the Ministry's statement said.

Pajhwok news agency quoted Najib Danish of the Ministry of Interior as saying that it was a suicide auto bombing.

Taliban militants denied responsibility for the attack and the Islamic State did not immediately claim responsibility.

The blast occurred at 8:30 local time (03:30 GMT) in Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood near Germany's Embassy.

US President Donald Trump is due to decide soon on a recommendation to send 3,000 to 5,000 more troops to bolster the small North Atlantic Treaty Organisation training force and US counter-terrorism mission now totalling just over 10,000. After two hours, smoke was still rising from the scene and shops almost a mile away from the blast experienced blown out windows.

  • Jon Douglas