KABUL: A bomb placed in an ambulance set off a huge explosion on a busy Kabul street on Saturday, killing at least 95 people and injuring at least 158 others, Afghan officials said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which came days after a 15-hour siege by the militants at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul left 22 dead, including 14 foreigners.
The explosion occurred on a guarded street that leads to an old Interior Ministry building and several embassies, officials said. Many ministry departments still have offices there, and visitors line up every day for routine business.
“I saw a flame that blinded my eyes, then I went unconscious,” said Nazeer Ahmad, 45, who was wounded in the head. “When I opened my eyes, I saw bodies lying on the ground.”
“It’s a massacre,” said Dejan Panic, the coordinator in Afghanistan for the Italian aid group Emergency, which runs a nearby trauma hospital. At least 70 people were brought to the group’s Kabul hospital.
An uptick in violence across the country, particularly an increase in deadly attacks in urban centers that shut down large parts of cities, comes at a time when the country’s government has been in political disarray.