A powerful explosion that ‘felt like an earthquake’ hit the diplomatic area of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, at 08:25 local time on a Wednesday morning, killing 80 people and injuring 350.

One of the deadliest explosions in Kabul, the blast was caused by a suicide attack near the German Embassy, according to interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish. The health ministry said the people injured were rushed to various hospitals and the number of casualties will likely increase further.

 

Damaged cars are seen after a blast at the site of the incident in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017.

The blast damaged more than 30 cars parked nearby. Photo by Reuters

 
“It was a car bomb near the German embassy, but there are several other important compounds and offices near there too. It is hard to say what the exact target is,” Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the attack in statement that said “the terrorists, even in the holy month of Ramadan, the month of goodness, blessing and prayer, are not stopping the killing of our innocent people.”

Meanwhile, the Afghan Taliban denied responsibility for the attack. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement the movement’s fighters had no involvement and said the movement condemned any such untargeted attacks that caused civilian casualties.

As of press time, no group has taken responsibility yet over Wednesday’s attack. Moreover, US President Donald Trump is looking over a recommendation to send 3,000 to 5,000 more troops to bolster the small NATO training force and US counter-terrorism mission now totaling just over 10,000.