A horrific attack in Kabul shows the Aghan government's weakness

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. "It used to be that Kabul was this island of security. now we're seeing (violence) penetrate the capital".

The BBC has said that Mohammed Nazir, a driver for the corporation's Afghan service, died in the explosion. India Today reported Afghanistan's Tolo News quoting the Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security claiming that the attack had been carried out by the Haqqani network, with the help of Pakistan's International Sevices Intelligence (ISI).

'It felt like an natural disaster, ' said 21-year-old Mohammad Hassan, describing the moment the blast struck the bank where he was working.

The Taliban are rapidly regaining ground, and women's rights in the parts of the country back under their control are little different than in the days before the USA -led invasion when girls were banned from attending school past age 8, and women were allowed to work in only a handful of professions.

There was no claim of responsibility for the bombing, which came in the first week of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's foreign minister, said that an Afghan security guard was killed and several employees of the German embassy wounded in the blast.

The victims appear mainly to have been Afghan civilians.

The German government said Thursday it will continue to deport people to Afghanistan if they are considered a threat, have committed crimes or persistently refuse to reveal their identity.

The statement from Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said "the blast has caused damage to the residences of some Pakistani diplomats and staff, living in the close vicinity, and inflicted minor injuries to some".

The blast site is one of the most secure areas in the country - Western embassies and the presidential palace are located there.

The French, Turkish and Chinese embassies were among those damaged, the three countries said.

"We intend to undertake concerted efforts to mobilise global community, particularly the United Nations, to take up the issue" of violence in Kashmir, he said.

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 of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) affiliate has made the country only more volatile.

According to a press release issued by the ISPR, the military's public relations wing, the army chief said: "We stand with Afghan brothers and security forces in the fight against terrorism and militancy".

  • Zachary Reyes