Kabul mourns loved ones lost to latest bombing

The truck bomb that ripped through Afghanistan's capital killed at least 90 people and injured scores more. No group has yet claimed responsibility for what is the latest in a grim series that has killed thousands of civilians over the years.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The attack was one of the deadliest since the US-led campaign to oust the Taliban in 2001.

Kabul on Thursday prepared to bury loved ones, who were victims of a truck bomb that killed at least 90 people and wounded hundreds.

The burials come amid growing public anger at the government's failure to prevent yet another deadly attack in the heart of the Afghan capital.

Wednesday's blast, at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, ripped through a traffic-clogged street packed with people on their way to school or work during the morning rush hour.

In scale, it was one of the worst such attacks since the US-led campaign to oust the Taliban in 2001. In kind, it was only the latest in a grim series that has killed thousands of civilians over the years.

Global outcry

The explosion damaged several embassies in the area, which houses diplomatic and government buildings and is a maze of concrete blast walls, vehicle barriers and armed security guards.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his "abhorrence" at the strike which he said underlined the urgency of the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the "despicable" attack had happened "in the immediate vicinity" of the German embassy and that an Afghan guard had also been killed.

The lights at the Eiffel Tower were switched off on Wednesday night to honour the scores of victims. The monument's lights had already been turned off on Tuesday after suicide blasts in Baghdad killed at least 42.

Amnesty International said the bombing shows that the conflict in Afghanistan is "dangerously widening in a way that should alarm the international community."

At least 11 Afghan guards working for the US embassy were among those killed and 11 American citizens working as contractors in Kabul were among the wounded, US officials said.

US President Trump called Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani to convey his condolences, saying the timing of the attack during the holy month of Ramadan underscores "the barbaric nature of the terrorists who are enemies of all civilised peoples."

No claim of responsibility

No group has so far claimed the attack, launched from a sewage tanker packed with explosives. The blast tore a massive crater in the ground and blew out windows across the heavily fortified district.

The Taliban – currently in the midst of their annual "spring offensive" – denied they were involved, while strongly condemning the blast. The insurgent group rarely claims responsibility for attacks that kill large numbers of civilians.

Afghanistan's intelligence agency blamed the Taliban-allied Haqqani network for the attack.

TRTWorld and agencies