Taliban bomb in ambulance kills 95 in Kabul

Updated: 28 January, 2018 10:13 IST | Agencies | Kabul

Several injured after Taliban suicide bomber detonates explosives at a police checkpoint in Afghanistan capital

An explosives-packed ambulance blew up in a crowded area of Kabul yesterday, killing at least 95 people and wounding 158 others, officials said, in one of the biggest blasts to rock the war-torn city in recent years. The Taliban-claimed assault — the second carried out by the militant group in the Afghan capital in a week — triggered chaotic scenes as terrified survivors fled the area scattered with body parts, blood and debris, and hospitals were overwhelmed by the large number of wounded.

It was the second major attack in Kabul in a week. Pics/AFP
It was the second major attack in Kabul in a week. Pics/AFP

It came as both the insurgents and the ISIS group have escalated their attacks on Kabul, one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan. Journalists saw "lots of dead and wounded" civilians in the hospital, where medical staff struggled to treat the bloodied men, women and children lying on the floor in corridors. Health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh said that the toll " stands at 95 dead, 158 wounded", shortly after the interior ministry warned that death toll could rise.

The blast happened in an area where several high-profile organisations, including the European Union, have offices. The suicide bomber passed through at least one checkpoint in the ambulance, saying he was taking a patient to Jamuriate hospital, an interior ministry spokesman said. "At the second checkpoint he blew his explosive-laden car," Nasrat Rahimi said. He said that most of the victims were civilians. He said the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network was responsible and four suspects had been arrested.

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan condemned the use of an ambulance in the bombing, saying it was "unacceptable and unjustifiable". The Taliban used social media to claim responsibility for the attack, which comes exactly a week after its insurgents stormed Kabul's landmark Intercontinental hotel, killing at least 25 people, the majority foreigners.

No. of people injured in the bombing

Tweet talk
Mehbooba Mufti @MehboobaMufti
I strongly condemn the suicide car bomb attack in the Afghan capital. We all must unite to vanquish this nexus of terror. My thoughts & prayers go out to the victims & their families.

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First Published: 28 January, 2018 10:02 IST

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