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Attacker driving ambulance packed with explosives kills dozens in Kabul

Attacker driving ambulance packed with explosives kills dozens in Kabul”

Nusrat Rahimi, a spokesman for Interior Ministry, told Afghan media that the explosives in today's explosion were loaded in an ambulance which blew up after crossing the first checkpoint in the area.

"It's a massacre", said Dejan Panic, a coordinator with the NGO Emergency, which operates at hospital in city that treated victims. In a message on Twitter, the group said more than 50 wounded had been brought in to that hospital alone.

Prior to this, at least 18 civilians were killed, and 22 others were wounded, during a deadly siege on a major hotel in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.

"He passed through the first checkpoint saying he was taking a patient to Jamuriate hospital and at the second checkpoint he was recognised and blew [up] his explosive-laden vehicle", said Mr Rahimi. He added that several people were suddenly lying on the ground.

Buildings hundreds of metres (yards) away were shaken by the force of the explosion, which left torn bodies strewn on the street nearby amid rubble and debris. The explosion happened in a busy part of the city where the High Peace Council has offices. An attack in December on a cultural center killed at least 41 people.

An Afghan man holds a wounded child after a car bomb exploded near the old Interior Ministry building
An Afghan man holds a wounded child after a car bomb exploded near the old Interior Ministry building

A huge plume of smoke could also be seen rising above the city.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, BBC reported. "It was really huge - all our windows are broken", Hassina Safi, a member of High Peace Council, told AFP.

"So far we don't have any reports if any of our members are wounded or killed".

The attacks come after the Taliban promised to turn Afghanistan into a "graveyard" for foreign forces as they seek to regain their grip on the war-torn country.



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