An ambulance packed with explosives blew up in a crowded area of Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 95 people and wounding 158 others, officials said, in an attack claimed by the Taliban.
“The suicide bomber used an ambulance to pass through the checkpoints. He passed through the first checkpoint saying he was taking a patient to Jamuriate hospital and at the second checkpoint he was recognized and blew his explosive-laden car,” interior ministry deputy spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told AFP.
“It is a massacre,” said Dejan Panic coordinator in Afghanistan for the Italian aid group Emergency, which runs a nearby trauma hospital. In a message on Twitter, the group said more than 50 wounded had been brought in to that hospital alone.
A spokesman from the public health ministry said 17 dead and 110 wounded had been brought to city hospitals, and victims were still being brought in.
Mirwais Yasini, a member of parliament who was nearby when the explosion occurred, said the ambulance approached the checkpoint, close to an office of the High Peace Council and several foreign embassies, and blew up.
He said a number of people were lying on the ground. People helped walking wounded away as ambulances with sirens wailing inched their way through the traffic-clogged streets of the city centre.
A plume of grey smoke rose from the blast area in the city centre and buildings hundreds of meters away were shaken by the force of the explosion.