Barely weeks after the Manchester attack, another city has fallen prey of the rising cases of terrorism. Kabul makes it to the list of the recently attacked cities, after its diplomatic zone was bombed, claiming the lives of 80 and wounding 350 others. The attack sent plume of smoke covering the Afghan capital’s skies in clouds of smoke.
The main target of this attack was not immediately apparent, but the Ministry of Health spokesman, Wazir Akbar Khan, said that majority of the casualties are women and children.
This is the worst attack the country has faced since when foreign forces were drawn out of the country. The bombing also led to many questioning whether the Afghan government has what it takes to guarantee the safety of its citizens.
Among the heavily damaged buildings are the German Embassy and several other embassies. Japan, Germany and Pakistan reported that their staff members have been badly hurt.
At what time did the attack occur?
The bomb exploded at around 08:25 local time, a period when the diplomatic quarter experiences a rush.
The wounded were carried using makeshift ambulances as the frantic relatives came together at the cordoned-off perimeter. These later on moved to hospitals as they tried to locate their loved ones in the midst of increased tensions.
Associated Press images showed burned out cars, and badly destroyed buildings. Over 50 vehicles were damaged.
Speaking to Reuters, Basir Mujahid a spokesman for Kabul police, said that the explosion happened closer to the German embassy but it is hard to state exactly what the target was.
The region has a number of other buildings such as the British embassy and the presidential palace.
Some reports say the bomb was in a lorry or water tanker. One Western diplomatic source told Agence France-Presse it was packed with more than 1,500kg of explosives.
How safe are Afghans?
With the attack occurring at such a high profile area, many are left wondering whether Afghan is getting better or going back to the dark days. This is one of the safest neighborhoods in Kabul and has several 10-foot-high blast walls.
Besides the high-profile presence, the NATO and U.S. Embassy are located nearby, just a mile away from the attack site. Both came out to speak against the unfortunate incident, praising Afghan Security Forces for their courage.
There were several footages of shocked residents covered in blood, stumbling about as others got ferried to hospitals.
No group has come out to claim responsibility of the attack, but analysts believed that the most likely culprits are the Taliban and the Islamic State group.
But the Taliban released a statement on Wednesday denying this involvement and condemned all sort of attacks on civilians. This attack had “nothing to do with the Mujahedeen of Islamic Emirate,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also released a statement condemning the explosion that happened just days before start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.