Kabul Car Bombing Kills At Least 80 People, Injures Hundreds More

A huge suicide bomb ripped through a secure area of Kabul at the height of the Wednesday morning rush hour, killing at least 80 people and wounding more than 300, Afghan officials said.

The bomb was detonated near Zanbaq Square outside the "Green Zone", according to the NATO-led Resolute Support mission, which adds that Afghan security forces kept the vehicle bomb from entering the Green Zone, "but the explosion caused civilian casualties in the vicinity".

"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. Attacks have been claimed by an Islamic State group affiliate as well as the Taliban. While Taliban denied their involvement in the attack and Isis didn't react.

Strongly condemning the deadly bombing, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered his deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and injured. Afghan driver Mohammed Nazir was killed as he drove fellow journalists to the office. At least one journalist of the Tolo was killed in addition to a security guard at the German embassy.

The Foreign Ministry has activated a crisis team to help deal with the aftermath of the bombing on Wednesday that hit at the heart of Kabul's diplomatic section, the explosion going off in a highly secure area close to the German and several other embassies.

One Western diplomatic source told AFP news agency the blast had been caused by more than 1,500kg (3,307lb) of explosives.

A foreign security guard, center, and Afghan forces patrol near the.

Chaos and confusion prevailed at the Amani Upper Secondary School, an elite school supported by Germany that is half a mile from the scene of the attack.

It "targets all of us - whether in Manchester or Berlin, Paris, Istanbul, St. Petersburg or today in Kabul", she said in the southern German city of Nuremberg. The attacker, said to be wearing a police uniform, opened fire on a crowd of Shi'ite Muslims marking Ashura, which commemorates the seventh-century death of a grandson of the prophet Mohammad.

A statement from the Ministry of Interior Affairs says it "condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack" that killed so many, including women and children.

The attack is one of the most serious seen in the capital for several months and comes during the start of the holy month of Ramadan. 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.

The neighborhood is considered Kabul's safest area, with foreign embassies located in its vicinity.

The explosion also shattered windows at the Japanese embassy.

Afghanistan's war, the longest ever involving USA troops, has shown no sign of letting up, and the introduction into the battle of an Islamic State affiliate has made the country only more volatile. "The terrorists, and those who provide them support in any form, deserve the utter scorn of all civilized people around the world".

Najib Danish, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said at least 50 people were killed or wounded in the suicide vehicle bombing Wednesday.

  • Leroy Wright