Death toll in Kabul ambulance-car bombing rises to 103, with 235 injured
iStock/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) — A powerful suicide car bomb rocked Afghanistan’s capital Saturday morning, killing 103 and injuring another 235, according to the country’s minister of interior, Wais Barmak.
The death toll was revised from 95 to 103 on Sunday morning, while the number of injured rose from more than 150 to 235.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the insurgent attack in Kabul, which is the deadliest in the country so far this year.
Police in Kabul said the explosion occurred near the entrance to the government’s former interior ministry building at the end of Chicken Street, a popular thoroughfare for shopping. The attacker was driving an ambulance, according to the Afghan interior ministry.
“I was in my shop. I heard a big boom,” Haji Wali, a shopkeeper, told ABC News. “I came out and helped the people wounded. There were many people wounded. People are still laying down on the footpaths close to shops.”
Thick, dark smoke was seen billowing into the sky after the blast.
Emergency Hospital, on the front line of trauma care in Afghanistan and run by an Italian charity, said it received at least 50 injured victims.
“I helped and moved around 50 to 60 wounded people myself,” a man on the street named Parwaiz Ihsan told ABC News. “I just came back, but there are many dead bodies still laying down there; we couldn’t move them.”
Afghanistan’s chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, decried the attack as “insane, inhuman, heinous and a war crime” via his official Twitter account. He also urged the international community to “take further action” against state-sponsored “terrorism.
Abdullah tweeted, “Our priority and focus right now is to help those in need and provide the best treatment for those wounded. This is the moment when we all need to stand together and punch our enemy hard. This is enough!”
U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass also condemned Saturday’s attack, describing it as a “senseless and cowardly bombing.”
“My government and I stand with the brave people of Afghanistan,” Bass said in a statement. “Their work to create a peaceful, prosperous future for all the citizens of this country is the best response to terrorists and others who know only violence.”
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