At least 95 people were killed and 158 injured after a bomb hidden in an ambulance exploded in a neighbourhood in Afghanistan’s Kabul on Saturday, local TV channel Tolo News reported reported. The site of the explosion is close to the offices of the European Union and the High Peace Council buildings.
The Public Health Ministry’s spokesperson, Wahid Majrooh, confirmed the casualties. Officials expect the toll to increase. This is the deadliest attack in Kabul in several months.
Mirwais Yasini, a member of parliament who was nearby during the explosion, said ambulance approached a checkpoint close the High Peace Council’s office, and blew up, Reuters reported. He added that several people were suddenly lying on the ground.
“It is a massacre,” Dejan Panic, the coordinator in Afghanistan for the Italian aid group Emergency.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, BBC reported.
As many as 18 people were killed during an over-14-hour siege by gunmen at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul on January 20. The Taliban had claimed responsibility for that incident too.
MPs demand resignation of security officials
Members of Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (the Lower House of Parliament) and Meshrano Jirga (the Upper House of Parliament demanded that the heads of the country’s intelligence and security departments resign over their failure to prevent the attack.
MP Sayed Ali Kazimi claimed a proxy war was taking place in Afghanistan, Tolo News reported.
Senator Safiullah Hashemi demanded the resignation of top security officials. “We are surprised that there is so much weakness,” Hashemi told the news channel. “For how long do our people need to suffer and die. Why do these officials not step down from their jobs.”