Injuries at German embassy in Kabul, Afghan personnel likely dead - Germany

Cheryl Sanders
May 31, 2017

AFP | The BBC's Afghan driver was killed and four of its journalists were injured on Wednesday in a massive truck bomb blast that ripped through Kabul's diplomatic quarter, the British broadcaster said.

The Afghan interior ministry says 64 people were killed and as many as 320 were wounded in the massive auto bombing in Kabul earlier in the day.

It is not yet clear if the German Embassy was the target of the attack, an Afghan police official told Reuters.

It was the latest in a series of deadly attacks, a lot of them claimed by either the Taliban or Islamic State, that have terrorized citizens of the Afghan capital.

The blast occurred at 8:30 local time (03:30 GMT) in Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood near Germany's Embassy.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani condemned the terror attack in a statement.

In a statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that "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", CNN reported.

The explosion took place at the peak of Kabul's rush hour when roads are packed with worktime commuters.

Mohammad Haroon, who owns a sporting goods store near the site, said all the windows on his shop and others around him were shattered.

Ismail Kawasi, spokesman for the public health ministry, said more than 50 wounded people are in Kabul hospitals so far.

Last month the Taliban announced the start of a major spring offensive, saying their main target would be foreign forces. Four BBC journalists were injured in the attack, though none are thought to have life-threatening injuries.

There are about 8,400 USA troops in Afghanistan - a majority of them are involved in training and advising Afghan troops.

Claimed by the Islamic State, the attack targeted Christians en route to St. Samuel the Confessor monastery in Minya, Egypt, and was the latest in a string of attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt.

The troops could consist of special forces personnel and more conventional soldiers, and would be part of the NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan army in its fight against militants.

Other reports by iNewsToday