At least 80 are dead and 350 more were injured in the explosion
The explosion happened in rush hour close to the British, German, French and US embassies in Afghan capital
BBC driver Mohammed Nazir from Afghanistan has been killed and four BBC journalists were injured
No group has claimed responsibility but Taliban and ISIS have staged large-scale attacks in Kabul in the past
During Wednesday morning’s rush hour, a suicide car bomb led to a explosion killing at least 80 and injuring 350 in one of the most deadly terrorist attacks in recent memory to hit Kabul, Afghanistan.
The attack took place a few days into Ramadan in Zanbaq Square – Kabul’s heavily secured diplomatic district. The explosion took place near the German embassy, and heavy damage was sustained near the Japanese, British, Turkish and Chinese embassies.
Makeshift ambulances moved those wounded from the area, whilst relatives huddled around the cordoned-off perimeter of the blast site and later at hospitals in order to locate loved ones.
Most who are dead are thought to be civilians. It is not clear yet what or who the intended target was, though the Afghan government released a statement on the attack, saying,
“Today the enemies of Afghanistan once again showed their brutality by killing and wounding civilians. The enemy has no mercy on civilians.”
No immediate claim of responsibility of the attack has been made. However, the Taliban have denied any involvement with the explosion. Many suspect that the IS wing in Afghanistan’s committed the attack.
Afghanistan’s IS said it was behind a suicide bomb attack earlier this month on a NATO convoy that was passing the US embassy in Kabul. At least eight civilians were killed.
This is the deadliest attack in Afghanistan since two ISIS bombers took their lives in an explosion during a Shia protest in July, 2015 killing 80 and wounding 230.
Afghanistan has witnessed a wave of increasing violence in the past year as both Taliban and ISIS extremists have attempted to overthrow the government and inflict Islamic Law via violent means. Over the past few years, jihadist militants have consistently pushed for attacks on innocent civilians during the summer month of Ramadan.
Although the Taliban lost control over Afghanistan in 2001 following the US invasion, Islamist militants are currently in control of 40 per cent of Afghanistan – they have gained a significant foothold but have still not taken over any major cities.
As grim news continues to pour in, and as Afghanistan reels from yet another savage attack, how this will affect the international community and NATO’s strategy towards Afghanistan remains to be seen.
Dominic is a Greek/American writer & editor; English and Theatre Studies Graduate