Kabul Explosion: Blast Kills 80 Near Diplomatic Area in Afghanistan
- Author: Leroy Wright May 31, 2017,
May 31, 2017, 21:08
Taliban has denied responsibility for the blast.
The commander of USA forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, told a congressional hearing this year that he needed several thousand more troops to help Afghan forces break a "stalemate" with the Taliban.
"The US Embassy does not appear to have been the target of the blast", a spokesperson said, and referred questions on casualties to the Afghanistan government.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack, saying, "the terrorists, even in the holy month of Ramadan, the month of goodness, blessing and prayer, are not stopping the killing of our innocent people". Four were injured and were treated in hospital.
Layma Tabibi, an Afghani-American who works at a local consulting firm, told CNN she heard a loud rumble as she was getting ready for work, then saw the big plume of smoke.
"India is ready to render any assistance to Govt and people of Afghanistan and all possible support to bring perpetrators of the attack to justice", added the statement.
Shortly after the explosion, all roads in Wazir Akbar Khan were blocked off by Afghan security forces and helicopters were deployed over the neighbourhood. His statement added that the Taliban condemn "every explosion and attack carried out against civilians, or in which civilians are harmed". Everyone around me was shocked. All of the buildings and offices were broken, the windows were blown out.
"It was rush hour, most of the people were going to their offices or going to the shops". Passers-by stopped and helped the wounded into private cars, others congregated outside the nearby Italian-run Emergency Hospital. Of late, Delhi Embassy has been entrusted to look after the Afghanistan. Militant groups usually plan attacks against locations and individuals with potential American connections, including: Afghan and US government facilities, foreign embassies, military installations, commercial entities, non-governmental organization offices, restaurants, hotels, airports, and educational centers.
There has been no claim of responsibility in Wednesday's attack, but it highlights the deteriorating security situation across Afghanistan.
The Pentagon is considering sending additional troops to the country, United States military officials told the Senate Armed Services Committee this month.
There are about 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan - the majority are involved in training and advising Afghan troops. About 2,000 U.S. service members participate in a counterterrorism mission that targets terror groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS.
Following the attack, US Embassy Kabul Special Charge d'Affaires Ambassador Hugo Llorens said the US commitment to Afghanistan remains unwavering.