Kabul blast: 80 dead, 350 wounded after explosion near Indian Embassy
A huge explosion has hit the Afghan capital in Kabul morning rush hour on Wednesday, sending clouds of black smoke spiralling over the centre of the city in an area near the presidential palace and foreign embassies.
The latest figures from the Afghan health ministry say at least 80 people have been killed and 350 injured.
Afghan police said it was a truck bomb near the German embassy - which is next to the British embassy. Initial reports said that 50 people have been killed or wounded in a suicide car bombing in Kabul.
According to reports, the explosion happened in an area close to Indian embassy. It was not immediately clear whether there were casualties. Some doors were also torn off their hinges.
Images circulating on social media appeared to show a large cloud of black smoke over the city.
Sound of explosion in Kabul Shashdarak pic.twitter.com/OxBVPjJKop— Rahim Gul Sarwan (@rgsarwan) May 31, 2017
Eyewitnesses say the blast was in the diplomatic quarter - where the UK has an embassy.There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack came as the resurgent Taliban are stepping up their annual "spring offensive".
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted,''By God's grace, Indian Embassy staff are safe in the massive Kabul blast.''
By God's grace, Indian Embassy staff are safe in the massive #Kabul blast.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) May 31, 2017
Also, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi condemned the terrorist blast in Kabul. He said,''We strongly condemn the terrorist blast in Kabul. Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased & prayers with the injured.''
India stands with Afghanistan in fighting all types of terrorism. Forces supporting terrorism need to be defeated.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 31, 2017
"Massive VBIED (Vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) not too far from our Embassy. Buildings, including ours, suffered considerable breakages, but all our staff are safe," Indian ambassador in Kabul Manpreet Vohra said.
BBC employee was killed and 4 journalists were injured in the blast. Moreover, the German Embassy's staff was wounded in the attack.
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reported that the Taliban terrorist group, which is outlawed in Russia among other such groups, denied responsibility for the blast.
The attack in Afghanistan comes a few days after a suicide car bomber killed at least 18 people in Khost, eastern Afghanistan on May 27.