Blast in Kabul diplomatic kills at least 9

The blast, which shattered windows and blew doors off their hinges in houses hundreds of metres away, was unusually powerful, with some reports saying it was caused by explosives concealed in a water tanker.

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

The Health Ministry put the number of dead at 80.

France also reported damage to its own embassy and the German one, but there was no information on possible casualties.

Dozens were in critical condition. Hospitals frantically appealed for blood donation. Najib Danish, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, says the explosion was so heavy that more than 30 vehicles were either destroyed or damaged. No group has claimed the attack.

Kawasi said the target of the attack was not immediately known but most of the casualties were civilians, including women and children.

The explosion occurred near Zanbaq Square close to the embassies of Germany, Turkey and Japan and in front of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) compound.

A few cars caught fire and a large plume of black smoke rose into the sky. "Two Japanese embassy staffers were mildly injured, suffering cuts", a foreign ministry official in Tokyo said. Pakistani authorities said some of their employees and staff were hurt in the explosion.

In another tweet, he said, "Forces supporting terrorism need to be defeated". The alliance praised "the courage of Afghan Security Forces, especially the police and first responders" following the attack.

"We strongly condemn the terrorist blast in Kabul".

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.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned "this inhuman and cowardly attack".

At least 50 people are feared killed or injured after a car-bomb exploded near the German embassy in Kabul during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, police said.

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  • Leroy Wright