Kabul bombing in diplomatic area kills scores

Claudine Rigal
Juin 1, 2017

Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and the Resolute Support Mission, visits the bomb site in Kabul where dozens were killed and hundreds more injured May 31, 2017. The target of the bombing wasn't immediately clear. But the attack underscores spiralling insecurity in Afghanistan, where a military beset by soaring casualties and desertions is struggling to beat back the insurgents. IS has been battling the Taliban for control of certain parts of Afghanistan while also regularly targeting the government.

Hours after the explosion ambulances were still at the scene as rescue workers were digging bodies from the rubble. "We don't know at this moment what was the target of the attack, but most of the casualties are civilians", said Danish.

Kabul's police chief, General Hassan Shah Frogh, said the explosives used in the blast had been in a tanker truck used to empty septic wells.

The exploasion damaged the French and German embassies as well.

The interior ministry called on Kabul residents to donate blood, saying hospitals were in "dire need". ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack. The Taliban flatly denied any involvement in an email to news outlets and condemned all attacks against civilians.

In a statement, the NDS said: "These terrorists once again proved they don't represent any religion and they only carry out such coward attacks to please their Pakistani masters which is against all Islamic and human rights principals".

"India stands with Afghanistan in fighting all types of terrorism".

Switzerland said the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation had several windows broken but the staff were safe.

Mirwais Yasini, a lawmaker from the eastern province of Nangarhar who was at the site, said the explosion was so powerful that it caused a 15-meter crater and shattered windowpanes in a number of buildings, including some embassies. "Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased & prayers with the injured".

The Foreign Ministry in Berlin said it had no immediate information on possible casualties or damage to the German Embassy but was working on trying to get more details from Afghanistan.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel tweeted that the blast "hit civilians and those who are in Afghanistan to work for a better future for the country with the people there".

The European Union Delegation in Kabul is fully mobilised and ready to assist those EU Member States' diplomatic representations and their staff members affected by the explosion.

The BBC said one of its staffers died as a result of the attack and four journalists were also injured. Passers-by stopped and helped the wounded into their private cars, others congregated outside the nearby Italian-run Emergency Hospital.

No group has so far claimed the powerful blast, which officials said was caused by 1,500 kilograms (1.6 United States tons) of explosives hidden inside a sewage tanker, in what appeared to be a major intelligence failure.

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