’40 killed or injured’ in massive Kabul diplomatic quarter blast

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: At least 40 people were killed or wounded Wednesday as a massive blast ripped through Kabul’s diplomatic quarter, shattering the morning rush hour and bringing carnage to the streets of the Afghan capital.

Bodies littered the scene and a huge plume of smoke rose from the area which houses foreign embassies. However, it was not immediately clear what the target was.

Witnesses described dozens of cars choking the roads as wounded survivors and panicked schoolgirls sought safety, with men and woman struggling to get through security checkpoints to search for loved ones.

“A car bomb” exploded at 8:25 am, Najib Danish, an interior ministry spokesman, told AFP. He said at least 40 people had been killed or wounded, but could not give a breakdown of the casualties.

A health ministry spokesperson said more than 60 wounded people, mainly civilians, had been rushed to Kabul’s hospitals, adding: “We don’t know the number of killed yet”.

“By God’s grace, Indian Embassy staff are safe in the massive #Kabul blast,” India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted. The Indian embassy is among those close to the area.

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