Attacker driving ambulance packed with explosives kills dozens in Kabul

Attacker driving ambulance packed with explosives kills dozens in Kabul

Attacker driving ambulance packed with explosives kills dozens in Kabul

Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, said the attacker used an ambulance to get through one security checkpoint by telling police he was taking a patient to a nearby hospital.

The latest attack will add pressure on President Ashraf Ghani and his US allies, who have expressed growing confidence that a new more aggressive military strategy has succeeded in driving Taliban insurgents back from major provincial centres.

Officials said most of the casualties are civilians.

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Wahid Majroh, a public health ministry spokesman, confirmed to Xinhua that 79 injured had been shifted to Kabul hospitals after the deadly incident.

When he reached the second checkpoint, he was recognised and blew up the vehicle. In a message on Twitter, the group said more than 70 wounded had been brought in to that hospital alone.

The force of the blast shook windows of buildings at least two kilometres (more than a mile) away and shattered windows within hundreds of metres of the site. As the number of wounded persons increased, Jumuriate hospital witnessed chaotic scenes outside as nurses and doctors rushed to treat the wounded lying in the corridors.

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Outside the hospital, people were carrying the injured on their backs and paramedics loaded several people into ambulances at once.

Saturday is a working day in Afghanistan, and the blast tore through a crowded street in a busy part of the city at lunchtime. Some low-rise structures in the vicinity of the explosion also collapsed. It was really huge - all our windows are broken. "We're still counting dead bodies of last week's InterCon attack when a dozen plus killed & scores wounded in today's auto bombing on a public road", tweeted Lotfullah Najafizada.

A security alert issued to foreigners on Saturday morning had warned that the Islamic State group, which has terrorised the city in recent months, was planning "to conduct aggressive attacks" on supermarkets, shops and hotels frequented by foreigners.

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Earlier this week on Tuesday, a raid by the Taliban on a high end hotel had killed atleast 20 people, including 13 foreigners. At least 11 people were wounded in the attack.

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