Afghanistan’s capital city has been hit by one of the worst terror attacks in its history as the death toll rises to 90, with over 400 more injured.
Kabul’s diplomatic quarter was the target of the bomb that was concealed in a sewage tanker, Afghanistan’s Public Health Ministry has said.
The brutal attack is receiving worldwide media attention not only due to the horrific number of fatalities, but the fact that several foreign embassies were damaged in the attack. A BBC driver was among those to lose their lives, and four BBQ journalists were injured.
Afghanistan has been largely ignored in the global news agenda since foreign combat forces left the country. While it’s neighbouring Syria that’s emerged as a hotbed for attacks of this nature, this explosion in Kabul is a stark reminder that Afghanistan’s plight is stark.
The taliban has denied it was behind this latest attack, and ISIS – who are often quick to take responsible after their atrocities – have remained silent.
“The attack took place very close to the German embassy. It hit civilians and those who are in Afghanistan to work for a better future for the country with the people there. It’s especially contemptible that these people were the target,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Twitter.
Sadly the death toll is expected to rise as numerous buildings and vehicles have yet to be fully excavated. The huge explosion destroyed much of the surrounding infrastructure and blew out windows of several embassies, including those of Germany and Japan.
Emergency services were overwhelmed in the aftermath of the attack and called for anyone with a car to aid their efforts. Makeshift ambulances and understaffed hospitals are two of the key challenges here, and the Afghan Health Minister has called for blood donors to try and reduce the number of deaths.
Prior to this attack, a total of 220 people have died due to extremist violence in Kabul since 2015. With today’s death toll already at 90 and expected to rise, it’s highly likely that this will become the capital’s deadliest attack.
Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives or were injured in the explosion.