Massive explosion hits Afghan capital, Kabul near foreign embassies


A powerful bomb hidden in a sewage tanker exploded in the morning rush hour in the centre of the Afghan capital on Wednesday, police said, killing at least 80 people, wounding hundreds and damaging embassy buildings.

The vehicle bomb was planted in a septic tank truck, he said.

Rescue workers were digging bodies from the rubble hours after the explosion.

Witnesses described dozens of cars choking the roads as wounded survivors and panicked schoolgirls sought safety. Men and women struggled to get through security checkpoints to search for loved ones.

"It's not clear what the target was, but as is often the case, many civilians were injured by the blast".

More than a third of the country is outside government control.

At least 50 people are confirmed dead and more than 300 wounded - a lot of them civilians - following a massive truck bombing in the heart of the capital Kabul on Wednesday, officials said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.

In early March, two Taliban attacks on a police station and an intelligence services office in Kabul left 29 dead and 122 wounded, many of them civilians.

Terror attack on Kabul has killed 80 and injured many.

He said a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives in the area, according to Tolo News.

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"These heinous acts go against the values of humanity as well values of peaceful Afghans", the statement added.

A massive explosion rocked a highly secure diplomatic area of Kabul on Wednesday morning, causing casualties and sending a huge plume of smoke over the Afghan capital.

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

Several journalists located in Kabul had tweeted the pictures of the blast, including BBC's Kabul bureau manager, Karim Haidari, who said some of their staff were affected by the explosion.

German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr said the Kabul embassy would remain closed until further notice and that local staff were receiving medical care.

Sources told IANS that there were no casualties to any Indian national but window panes of the embassy building were shattered.

"I felt like it was an quake, and after that I do not know what happened", said Mohammed Hassan, 21, who was attending a training program at the Azizi Bank, half a block from the blast, and suffered cuts on his head and arms.

His statement added that the Taliban condemn "every explosion and attack carried out against civilians, or in which civilians are harmed".

Amnesty International warned that it "shows that the conflict in Afghanistan is not winding down but dangerously widening, in a way that should alarm the international community".

The Pentagon has reportedly pressed President Donald Trump to send thousands more troops back to the country to try to counter gains by the Taliban.

The US has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, with another 5,000 from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.