95 killed, 151 wounded as massive blast rocks Kabul

KABUL BLASTKABUL: The death toll from a suicide bombing carried out through an ambulance has risen to 95, with 151 others wounded near the Jamuriat Hospital in Kabul on Saturday, officials said.

Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majrooh told the media the toll might still rise because many of the wounded were said to be in critical condition.

Baryali Helali, head of Afghanistan Government Media and Information Center (GMIC), told a presser here that bodies of 63 victims had been shifted to the forensic center.

He said the injured were taken to Jamhuriat, Emergency, Wazir Akbar Khan and National Directorate of Security (NDS) hospitals for treatment. “This is toll is not final and may change, he said.

Nasrat Rahimi, Interior Ministry spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the explosion took place at a police checkpoint near the ministry’s old building, police headquarters and a High Peace Council office.

“The suicide bomber took an ambulance from the Jamhuriat Hospital park and crossed the first police checkpoint of the Ministry of Interior but he was identified reaching the second checkpoint where he detonated his explosives,” he said.

He said four people had been detained in connection with the incident, but he did not elaborate.

The bombing came a week after insurgents stormed the luxury Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, killing more than 20 people mostly foreigners.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, in an email claimed credit for the ambulance blast and claimed many police were killed in the bombing.

President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah strongly condemned the attack.

A statement from the Presidential Palace, said: “With deep sorrow, terrorists have once again repeated their unforgivable act by killing civilians including women and children, they martyred our people who were busy on their routine activities near Jamhuriat Hospital.”

“Enemies of Afghanistan should know that they are losers in this imposed war, the Afghan forces have a strong support of the people and the international community more than ever before,” he said.

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