An ambulance packed with explosives blew up on a busy Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul street, an area close to a number of foreign embassies and government buildings on Saturday, killing at least 95 people and over 160 injured, Afghan officials said.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the blast, which comes just a week after it claimed an attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in which more than 20 people, including 14 foreign nationals, were killed.
The bomb was hidden in an ambulance and went off at a police checkpoint in an area near foreign embassies and government buildings, officials said. Saturday is a working day in Afghanistan and the streets were busy at the time. According to a health ministry official, the death toll may rise further.
“It is a massacre,” said Dejan Panic coordinator in Afghanistan for the Italian aid group Emergency, which runs a nearby trauma hospital. In a message on Twitter, the group said more than 50 wounded had been brought in to that hospital alone.
Mirwais Yasini, a member of parliament who was nearby when the explosion occurred, said the ambulance approached the checkpoint, close to an office of the High Peace Council and several foreign embassies, and blew up.
He said a number of people were lying on the ground. People helped walking wounded away as ambulances with sirens wailing inched their way through the traffic-clogged streets of the city centre.
A plume of grey smoke rose from the blast area in the city centre and buildings hundreds of metres away were shaken by the force of the explosion.