A bomb placed in an ambulance produced a huge explosion on a busy Kabul street that leads to an old Interior Ministry building and several embassies on Saturday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and said the bombing targeted a building used by the Interior Ministry and High Peace Council, a body set up in 2010 to negotiate with insurgents.
At least 95 people were killed and at least 158 others injured. Most of the victims are civilians. Officials feared that the death toll could rise. The explosion was the third high-profile attack in Afghanistan in a week, and the deadliest this year. “It’s a massacre,” said Dejan Panic, the coordinator in Afghanistan for the Italian aid group Emergency, which runs a nearby trauma hospital. According to Baseer Mujahid, a spokesman for the Kabul police, the bomber drove past the first checkpoint at the entrance to the street in a heavily secured area near the capital’s Sadarat Square, then he tried to drive in from the wrong lane and detonated the explosibe when police tried to stop him.
Emergency after blast in Kabul
“Today’s attack is nothing short of an atrocity, and those who have organized and enabled it must be brought to justice and held to account,’ the leader of the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, said in a statement. Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah condemned the bombing, calling it, “insane, inhuman, heinous and a war crime.”