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Bomb blast kills at least 80, wounds hundreds

By Agencies and China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-01 07:32

Explosion in diplomatic quarter of Afghan capital 'felt like an earthquake'

KABUL - China has joined a chorus of international condemnation after a suicide bombing in the Afghan capital Kabul left 80 dead and more than 350 wounded.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday that the attack, which occured in a diplomatic district in the city, caused damage to the Chinese embassy, but no staff members were injured.

"As yet, we have not received casualty reports regarding Chinese-funded organizations and Chinese civilians in Afghanistan," Hua said, adding that China is assessing the situation and will take measures to enhance security for its organizations and people in Afghanistan.

Hua said China strongly condemns the bombing, and extended sympathies to the wounded and families of those killed in the attack.

China is against all forms of terrorism, and is willing to work with Afghanistan and the international community to fight terrorism, the spokeswoman added.

The bomb, one of the deadliest in Kabul and coming at the start of the holy month of Ramadan, 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.

Basir Mujahid, a spokesman for Kabul police, said it was a car bomb near the German embassy. "But there are several other important compounds and offices near there too," he told Reuters.

The blast, which shattered windows and blew doors off their hinges in houses hundreds of meters away, was unusually strong, with some reports saying it was caused by explosives concealed in a water tanker.

A statement from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Kabul said Afghan security forces had prevented the vehicle from entering the heavily protected Green Zone that houses many foreign embassies as well as RS headquarters, suggesting it may not have reached its intended target.

Video shot at the scene showed burning debris, crumbled walls and buildings and destroyed cars, many with dead or injured people inside.

At the Wazir Akbar Khan hospital a few blocks away, there were scenes of chaos as ambulances brought in wounded and frantic relatives scanned casualty lists and questioned hospital staff for news.

"It felt like an earthquake," said 21-year-old Mohammad Hassan, describing the moment the blast struck the bank where he was working. His head wound had been bandaged but blood still soaked his white dress shirt.

The Taliban denied responsibility and said they condemned the attacks. Islamic State, the other main militant group active in Afghanistan, has previously carried out high-profile attacks in Kabul.

Xinhua and Reuters contributed to this story

Bomb blast kills at least 80, wounds hundreds

A group of men move an injured victim to a hospital after the unusually strong blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday. Mohammad Ismail / Reuters

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