Bomb explodes in Kabul's embassy district killing 80

Afghan women mourn outside a hospital after the truck bomb in Kabul Afghan women mourn outside a hospital after the truck bomb in Kabul REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

27 May 2017
The suicide attack, one of the deadliest seen in the Afghan capital, left hundreds of injured and damaged embassy buildings.

On May 31, at least 80 people were killed by the explosion of a bomb hidden in a sewage tanker in the centre of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. The suicide attack occurred in the morning, at a busy intersection in the so-called "Green Zone", the international neighbourhood, generally considered a safe area, that houses foreign embassies, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)'s headquarters and the presidential palace. According to Deputy Interior Minister Murad Ali, 463 people were wounded in the explosion. Also, the blast created a huge crater in the street and seriously damaged some buildings, including the German, Canadian, French, Chinese and Turkish embassies.

Most of the victims were Afghan civilians on their way to school or work and office workers who were inside the nearby buildings that did not have the protection of any blast wall. The death toll included at least two media staffers and several security guards and soldiers. Among the wounded, there were also eleven U.S. citizens and some German diplomats, as the German embassy compound was the closest to the blast site. Anyway, according to the spokesman for the city police Basir Mujahid, probably that was not the target of the truck bomb.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, that was one of the deadliest committed in Kabul in the recent years. Nonetheless, the National Directorate for Security, the Afghanistan's main intelligence agency, believes it was carried out by the Haqqani network with the support of Pakistan. The Haqqani network is an Afghan insurgent group affiliated with the Islamic fundamentalist movement of the Taliban and adverse to the NATO and the Afghan government. The Taliban denied responsibility.


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