Trump condemns Kabul attack in call with Ghani

Kabul on Thursday mourned victims of a powerful truck bomb that killed at least 80 people and wounded hundreds amid growing public anger at the government's failure to prevent yet another deadly attack in the heart of the Afghan capital.

Scores of people waited in hospitals to learn the status of family members and friends wounded in Wednesday's attack.

US President Trump offered his deepest condolences for the victims to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a phone call, "underscoring the barbaric nature of the terrorist who are enemies of all civilized peoples", according to a statement by the White House.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State.

The brazen attack during the holy month of Ramadan highlighted the ability of militants to strike even in the capital's most secure district, home to the presidential palace and foreign embassies that are enveloped in a maze of concrete blast walls. The trucks are common in Kabul, a city of almost four million people with no sewage system that mostly depends on septic tanks, and where open sewers are common.

A auto is lifted from the wreckage of a suicide attack, in front of German Embassy after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

But Reuters reported that Afghanistan's main intelligence agency, the National Directorate for Security, believes it was carried out by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network with assistance from Pakistan - a charge also leveled by some former Afghan officials. Afghan officials said the explosives were packed in a sewage tanker.

Amnesty International said the bombing shows that the conflict in Afghanistan is "dangerously widening in a way that should alarm the international community".

Ambulance driver Alef Ahmadzai said: "I have been to many attacks, taken wounded people out of many blast sites, but I can say I have never seen such a disgusting attack as this morning". Many foreign embassies are located in the area, including the American and Canadian missions. Several houses were also damaged, Danish said.

"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 Taliban has certainly conducted indiscriminate attacks before, and the targeting of the Green Zone very much fits within the group's intention to focus on foreign occupiers in this spring offensive", Iho said.

The province surrounding the capital had the highest number of casualties in the country in the first three months of 2017 due to multiple attacks in the city, with civilians bearing the brunt of the violence.

"The indications are that (Wednesday's attack) was carried out by terrorists outside Afghanistan".

  • Leroy Wright