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You are here: Home World Middle East Massive suicide bombing rocks Kabul, killing at least 80 people and injuring as many as 350

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Massive suicide bombing rocks Kabul, killing at least 80 people and injuring as many as 350

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KABUL -- A massive explosion rocked a highly secure diplomatic area of Kabul on Wednesday morning, killing 80 people and wounding as many as 350, an attack that left a scene of mayhem and destruction and sent a huge plume of smoke over the Afghan capital.

The target of the attack -- which officials said was a suicide car bombing -- was not immediately known, but Ismail Kawasi, spokesman of the public health ministry, said most of the casualties were civilians, including women and children.

It was one of the worst attacks Kabul has seen since the drawdown of foreign forces at the end of 2014.

Associated Press images from the scene showed the German Embassy and several other embassies located in the area heavily damaged in the explosion. It wasn’t known if any foreign diplomats were among the casualties but Germany and Pakistan said some of their embassy employees and staff were hurt in the explosion.

The explosion took place at the peak of Kabul’s rush hour when roads are packed with worktime commuters. It went off close to a busy intersection in the Wazir Akbar Khan district, said Najib Danish, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

The neighbourhood is considered Kabul’s safest area, with foreign embassies protected by dozens of 10-foot-high blast walls and government offices, guarded by police and national security forces. The German Embassy, the Foreign Ministry and the Presidential Palace are all in the area, as are the British and the Canadian embassies. The Chinese, Turkish and Iranian embassies are also located there.

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