At least 11 USA citizens injured in Kabul blast
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 03, 2017,
Jun 03, 2017, 20:17
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani visits a victim of the Kabul attack. The blast tore a massive crater in the ground and blew out windows across the heavily fortified district.
The bomb was reportedly hidden in a sewage tanker.
"The people and government of Pakistan extend their heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences to the government and the people of Afghanistan and the bereaved families", said a Foreign Ministry spokesman.
"I have searched in three hospitals and haven't found them".
Afghan Municipality workers sweep a road in front of the German Embassy after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, May 31, 2017.
In recent years, Kabul and Washington have repeatedly accused Islamabad of sheltering insurgent groups, such as the Haqqani network, that attack Afghan and United States troops.
The Afghan spy agency National Directorate of Security (NDS) said early findings showed the Haqqani network with the assistance of the Pakistan's intelligence agency carried out the attack.
The Taliban says it was not involved.
The Taliban denied responsibility and said they condemned attacks that have no legitimate target and killed civilians.
The sound of the bomb, which went off near Kabul's busy Zanbaq Square, reverberated across the Afghan capital, with residents comparing it to an natural disaster.
The victims appear mainly to have been Afghan civilians. Local TV channel Tolo TV also tweeted that a staff member, Aziz Navin, was killed.
The area is home to most of the foreign embassies in the city, as well as several major government institutions, including the presidential palace. Germany's Foreign Minister Signmar Gabriel informed reporters that a few officials of the German embassy had also been injured in the blast, while an Afghan security guard had lost his life.
"The objective is not yet clear, but it was close to the German embassy", said Mujahid, adding that the area had been cordoned off.
The French, Turkish and Iranian embassies are also among missions that suffered material damage.
The White House issued a scathing statement condemning the "atrocious" attack. "Attacks such as these only serve to strengthen our commitment to our Afghan partners as they seek a peaceful, stable future for their country", he said in a statement. The European nation has drawn criticism for sending back Afghans to an increasingly risky country.
Kabul's high-security diplomatic zone was rocked by a powerful blast on Wednesday morning.
The attack comes as the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation weigh whether to deploy 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to break the 16-year war there out of what US military officials have described as a stalemate with the Taliban.
"Not just the US, NATO has put billions of dollars into training and reorganizing the Afghan army".