A bomb-packed ambulance blew up in a crowded space of Kabul on Saturday, killing at the very least 40 individuals and wounding 140 others, officers stated, in one of many greatest blasts to rock the war-torn metropolis in recent times.
The Taliban-claimed assault — the second carried out by the militant group within the Afghan capital in per week — triggered chaotic scenes as terrified survivors fled the world and hospitals had been overwhelmed by the massive variety of wounded.
It got here as each the insurgents and the Islamic State group have escalated their assaults on the capital, one of many deadliest locations in Afghanistan for civilians.
An AFP reporter noticed “lots of dead and wounded” civilians within the Jamuriate hospital, which is metres away from the blast and the place medical employees struggled to deal with the bloodied males, ladies and kids mendacity on the ground in corridors.
“The latest toll from Kabul hospitals stands at 40 martyred and 140 wounded,” well being ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh instructed AFP.
The blast occurred in an space the place a number of high-profile organisations, together with the European Union, have workplaces. Members of the EU delegation in Kabul had been of their “safe room” and there have been no casualties, an official instructed AFP.
The power of the explosion shook home windows of buildings at the very least two kilometres (greater than a mile) away and brought on some low-rise buildings within the quick neighborhood to break down.
The suicide bomber handed by at the very least one checkpoint within the ambulance, saying he was taking a affected person to Jamuriate hospital, an inside ministry spokesman instructed AFP.
“At the second checkpoint he was recognised and blew his explosive-laden car,” Nasrat Rahimi stated.
Twenty minutes earlier than the blast an AFP reporter noticed police checking ambulances a number of hundred metres from the scene of the explosion, because the drivers and sufferers stood on the road. Ambulances are hardly ever checked within the metropolis.
The Taliban used social media to assert accountability for the assault, which comes precisely per week after its insurgents stormed Kabul’s landmark Intercontinental resort, killing at the very least 25 individuals, the bulk foreigners.