By Sayed Salahuddin, Pamela Constable
A massive blast tore through the diplomatic quarter of the Afghan capital Wednesday, killing at least 80 people and wounding more than 460, officials said. The devastation left Kabul in shock and underlined the country’s security struggles as it confronts a sustained wave of insurgent and terrorist attacks.
Interior Ministry officials said a huge quantity of explosives, hidden in a tanker truck, detonated at 8:30 a.m. during rush hour on a busy boulevard in the Wazir Akbar Khan district, which houses embassies, banks, supermarkets and government ministries. An entire city block was ravaged, with office buildings left in rubble and charred vehicles strewn across the road in one of the deadliest single attacks in Kabul.
The scenes of human horror were appalling, even for a country accustomed to war and violence. At Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital, a steady stream of ambulances and police trucks delivered burned and mangled bodies, many streaming blood. Medical aides struggled to zip them quickly into body bags as distraught people crowded around, looking for missing relatives.
The dead and wounded were almost all Afghan civilians and security forces: police officers, bank clerks, cart pullers, telephone company workers. The dead included at least five women, an Afghan driver for the BBC and at least nine Afghan guards stationed at points outside the U.S. Embassy.
The Afghan Taliban denied any role in the bombing, which was followed by a second, smaller blast in another part of the city.
KABUL (c) 2017, The Washington Post · Jun 01, 2017