A suicide bomb attack hit near the German Embassy in Kabul during rush hour Wednesday morning, killing 80 people close to a highly secure diplomatic area, Afghan officials said. About 300-350 people were injured.
The blast was caused by a suicide attack, according to Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry, but no one has yet claimed it, with Taliban denying their involvement.
The blast occurred about 400 yards from the German Embassy. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the attack was in the “immediate vicinity” of the nation’s embassy.
“The attack was aimed at civilians and those who are in Afghanistan to work with the people there for a better future of the country,” Gabriel said, as quoted by CNN. In the attack, officials of the German embassy were also injured. The bomb exploded close to the fortified entrance to the German embassy, killing a security guard and wounding some staff, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Twitter.
The French and Chinese embassies were among those damaged, the two countries said, adding there were no immediate signs of injuries among their diplomats. The Afghan presidential palace and the Indian Embassy are also nearby.
The US Embassy said “a large vehicle borne improvised explosive device” detonated near the southern edge of the diplomatic area. “The US Embassy does not appear to have been the target of the blast,” a spokesperson said.
BBC announced that an Afghan driver working for them has been killed in the blast and another BBC journalists have been injured.
The blast hit when everyone was going to work, and occurred on the first few days of the holy month of Ramadan, which started Friday.
The green zone houses western embassies, government institutions and the residences of high-ranking officials and their families.
There has been no claim of responsibility in Wednesday’s attack. The Taliban denied responsibility and said they condemned attacks that have no legitimate target and killed civilians. Islamic State, the other main militant group active in Afghanistan, has carried out high-profile attacks in Kabul, including an attack on a military hospital in March that killed more than 50 people.