At least 90 people were killed and about 400 wounded when a massive truck bomb was detonated in the diplomatic district of Kabul today.
Zanbaq square is an often congested traffic spot near heavily guarded embassies as well as restaurants and shops. The truck used in the Ramadan attack was reportedly a water or sewage tanker. Damage from the massive explosion extended up to one kilometer from the epicenter.
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) May 31, 2017
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) May 31, 2017
This is our studio in Kabul. pic.twitter.com/GvHKuEhGgx
— Abdullah Khenjani (@AbdullahAzada) May 31, 2017
Though close to the Green Zone, the casualties in the 8:22 a.m. blast appear to be largely Afghan civilians. TOLOnews said Aziz Navin, an IT engineer, was among the dead. The BBC said on Twitter that one of their drivers, Mohammed Nazi, was killed “driving journalist colleagues to the office. He was in his late thirties and leaves a young family.”
The German Embassy sustained serious damage and at least one Afghan security guard there was killed. Germany’s foreign minister said embassy staff had been evacuated.
Pic of the German embassy in Kabul following the Suicide attack pic.twitter.com/JufTksaPb2
— Michael Adams (@mla1396) May 31, 2017
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the attack wasn’t their work. “Our Mujahideen are not involved in this incident and neither are the Mujahideen allowed to carry out such a large explosions at ill-defined areas,” he claimed. “Who has carried out this attack and for what purpose shall become clear at a later stage however the Islamic Emirate condemns every explosion and attack carried out against civilians, or in which civilians are harmed and has no legitimate target.”
The U.S.-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan said “the vigilance and courage of Afghan security forces prevented the VBIED from gaining entry to the Green Zone, but the explosion caused civilian casualties in the vicinity.”
“The attack demonstrates a complete disregard for civilians and reveals the barbaric nature of the enemy faced by the Afghan people,” the statement added. “It also highlights the hypocrisy of the enemy who claim that they only target Afghan Security Forces and Foreign forces, yet continue to cause death and suffering amongst innocent Afghans.”
— Ali Adili (@ali_adili) May 31, 2017
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) issued a statement condemning the attack, calling it “another gruesome reminder that the Taliban, Haqqani network, al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates are only interested in terror and hate rather than ending two decades of bloodshed.”
“We must stand shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan and all of our allies to defeat this unspeakable evil,” Ryan added.
Kabul’s blood bank said that thanks to a huge response from the public they had enough blood for the wounded.
The blast follows a pair of Ramadan attacks Tuesday in Baghdad, the first bomb targeting families at a popular ice cream shop. Ten were killed and 40 wounded, including a 12-year-old Australian girl who was visiting her grandfather for Ramadan. The second blast targeted seniors in the security screening line outside Baghdad’s General Retirement Department. Twelve were killed and 45 wounded.
ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks.
— Hayder al-Khoei (@Hayder_alKhoei) May 29, 2017
More graphic footage of aftermath of Baghdad blast. He’s screaming for an ambulance, little girl is walking around the dead bodies in shock. pic.twitter.com/Tk7aD7h2a9
— Hayder al-Khoei (@Hayder_alKhoei) May 30, 2017