Kabul blast hurts German embassy staff, kills guard

"In the attack, officials of the German embassy were also injured".

The ministry called on Kabul residents to donate blood, saying hospitals were in "dire need".

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack came as the resurgent Taliban are stepping up their annual "spring offensive".

Emphasising that the Afghanistan Government is not very strong and it needs the support of the global communities, he also said that Taliban has taken advantage of Afghanistan's situation. They are one of the biggest contributors to the Nato-led Resolute Support mission with around 980 soldiers on the ground to support and train Afghan security forces.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing but both the Taliban and the Islamic State group have staged large-scale attacks in the Afghan capital in the past.

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 area is in close proximity to a number of foreign embassies and government buildings, including the Presidential Palace and the Foreign Ministry.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has strongly condemned the massive attack in Kabul earlier in the morning, just days into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The Afghan health ministry confirmed the casualty numbers, which are expected to rise.

A statement from the Ministry of Interior Affairs said it "condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack".

The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack in a statement.

ISIL has also claimed responsibility for several recent bombings in the Afghan capital, including a powerful blast targeting an armoured North Atlantic Treaty Organisation convoy that killed at least eight people and wounded 28 on May 3.

Employees at the German embassy in Kabul were injured in a powerful bomb explosion in the Afghan capital on Wednesday and one Afghan security guard was killed, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Twitter.

Germany has had troops in Afghanistan for 15 years, primarily concentrated in the north in and around Mazar-E-Sharif.

Islamic State, the other main militant group active in Afghanistan, has carried out high profile attacks in Kabul, including an attack on a military hospital in March that killed more than 50 people.

Afghan officials say 64 people were killed and as many as 320 were wounded.

At the Wazir Akhbar Khan hospital a few blocks away, there were scenes of chaos as ambulances brought in wounded and frantic relatives scanned casualty lists and questioned hospital staff for news.

  • Leroy Wright