In one of the bloodiest attacks in recent years, an explosion outside the Afghan presidential palace has killed 90 people and injured hundreds more. Although no one has claimed responsibility, authorities believe the attack was carried out by a suicide car bomber possibly affiliated with Taliban or ISIS fighters.
The explosion targeted the diplomatic area of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, where in addition to Afghan government offices, foreign embassies, consulates, and other government buildings are located. The size and location of the attack—in the vicinity of so many embassies—demonstrates sophisticated technology and the ability to avoid high level anti-terrorism security measures.
According to reports, the blast was so powerful that windows were shattered in restaurants and other buildings over a mile from the site of the bomb’s detonation. Gen. Hassan Shah Frogh, Kabal’s police chief said that the bomb was detonated on a street adjacent to the German embassy. “The Blast was so huge that it dug a big crater as deep as four meters,” Frogh said.
According to the New York Times, the German embassy was extensively damaged. Pictures reveal shattered windows and debris scattered around the building. German officials said that several of their diplomats were injured and that an Afghan security guard employed by the embassy had been killed by the blast.
Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan’s President, said in a statement: “The terrorists, even in the holy month of Ramadan, the month of goodness, blessing and prayer, are not stopping the killing of our innocent people.”
Hugo Llorens, the current Special Charge d’ Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul (President Trump has not yet appointed an ambassador to Afghanistan) released a statement that reads in part:
“Our commitment is unwavering; we stand with the Afghan people and the Government of the National Unity as they strive to build a brighter, safe tomorrow for the people of this great nation. The struggle in Afghanistan is a fight between the overwhelming majority of Afghans who wish to build a better future for themselves, their families, and their noble land, pitted against small but despicable and barbaric cults who only know death and destruction. On behalf of the Embassy and the American people, I offer my deepest condolences to the families of all those killed and hope for the speedy recovery of the injured.”
UPDATE: According to reports, 11 U.S. citizens were among the hundreds injured in an attack in the diplomatic area in Kabul that killed at least 90 people. The Americans were contract personal who work in the area.