Pakistan rejects Afghanistan's allegations about Kabul attack

Mr Wahidullah Majrooh, a spokesman for the Health Ministry, said that 90 bodies and 350 wounded people had been brought to hospitals.

The bomb went off about 08:25 local time (03:55 GMT) during rush hour at the diplomatic quarter. Most of the casualties were civilians, including women and children, but the dead also included Afghan security guards working around the many embassies in the area.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the bombing, the deadliest single attack in Kabul since the Taliban were toppled from power in a 2001 US-led invasion, as a "war crime".

Afghanistan's war, the longest ever involving U.S. troops, has shown no sign of letting up and the introduction into the battle of an Islamic State group affiliate has made the country only more volatile.

The Pentagon has reportedly pressed Mr Trump to send thousands more troops back to try to counter gains by the Taliban. "It was a brutal act which has caused our countrymen grief during the holy month of Ramadan", he said.

Wednesday's blast caused severe material damages to the German, French, Japanese, Turkish, UAE, Indian and Bulgarian embassies. The real target of the blast was also not immediately clear. The Wazir Akbar Khan district is home to most of the capital's foreign embassies 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.

While the embassies of India, Japan, Turkey, China and France reported damage, the BBC network reported that one of its drivers was killed, while four journalist sustained injuries.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for several recent bombings in the Afghan capital, including a powerful blast targeting a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation convoy that killed eight people earlier this month.

Several embassies were damaged and a number of foreigners wounded, but the majority of victims were, as ever in such attacks, Afghan civilians. The insurgents have lately intensified attacks on Afghan security forces, killing and wounding scores of them.

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

After Taliban denied their involvement, it was highly anticipated that Daesh - which has claimed multiple attacks in Kabul recently - might own the attack in diplomatic enclave, but so far no group has taken responsibility.

  • Leroy Wright