International News

Kabul: At least 80 dead, over 350 wounded in blast near Indian Embassy

Sushma Swaraj said the Indian Embassy staffers were safe.

At least 80 people were killed and around 350 were wounded on Wednesday after a massive explosion targeted an area in Kabul where several embassies, including the India’s, are located, Reuters reported. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the Embassy staff were safe. An Afghanistan public heath official said a majority of the victims were Afghan civilians and that no reports of foreign embassy staff being wounded or killed had emerged yet.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack. “The terrorists, even in the holy month of Ramadan, the month of goodness, blessing and prayer, are not stopping the killing of our innocent people,” Ghani said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

The Chinese and French embassies said their buildings were among those damaged, Reuters reported.

It was not immediately clear who or what was the target of the blast. The attack is believed to have been a car bomb near the German embassy, Basir Mujahid, Kabul police spokesperson said, according to Reuters.

The blast took place not too far from the presidential palace. Windows were reported to be shattered in shops and restaurants around the blast site. At least 30 vehicles were either destroyed or damaged in the blast, Najib Danish, deputy spokesperson at the Afghan Interior Ministry, told AP.

Several journalists located in Kabul had tweeted the pictures of the blast, including BBC’s Kabul bureau manager, Karim Haidari, who said some of their staff were affected by the explosion.

“India stands with Afghanistan in fighting all types of terrorism,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. “Forces supporting terrorism need to be defeated.”

Pakistan, too, denounced the perpetrator’s actions.

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