UPDATES DEATH TOLL, TALIBAN TAKES RESPONSIBILITY; HEADLINE, DECK REVISED
By Shadi Khan Saif
KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) - A powerful suicide car bombing at the entrance of a government compound in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday killed at least 40 people and injured some 140 more, according to officials.
At around 12.50 p.m. local time (0820GMT), an ambulance packed with explosives was detonated at the entrance of the Interior Ministry, close to busy Sadarat Square during afternoon rush hour.
Health Ministry spokesman Ismael Kawosi told Anadolu Agency that at least 40 people, including civilians and guards at the ministry, lost their lives and up to 140 people were wounded in this massive attack in a crowded area near a number of public offices, embassies, and markets.
“All public hospitals, the Jamhoriat Shifa Khana, 400-bed Hospital, Hospital of the National Directorate of Security, and the Emergency Hospital, are treating the wounded,” he said.
Many of the victims are civilians, including children, he said.
The attack comes a week after five Taliban militants stormed the iconic Intercontinental Hotel in the city, killing more than 20 local and foreign guests staying in the capital’s fortified green zone.
Zabihullah Mujahed, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack.
He also claimed two similar suicide car bombings in the restive southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar on Saturday that caused multiple casualties.