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The Latest: Afghan Official: Kabul Attack Death Toll at 80

The Latest: Afghan Official: Kabul Attack Death Toll at 80

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 05:22 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on the rush-hour explosion that struck the Afghan capital, Kabul (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

An Afghan health official has raised the death toll from the massive suicide car bombing in Kabul earlier in the day, saying the attack killed 80 people.

Ismail Kawasi, spokesman for the public health ministry, says that the number of the wounded now stands at 350. He says the target of the attack was not immediately known but that most of the casualties were civilians, including women and children.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Wednesday's explosion, which struck the heart of Kabul's highly secure diplomatic district, the Wazir Akbar Khan area. The neighborhood is home to several embassies and not far from the Presidential Palace and foreign ministry. German and Pakistani authorities have said some of their employees and staff were hurt in the explosion.

1 p.m.

Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel says the explosion in Kabul has wounded employees of the German Embassy and killed an Afghan security guard outside the building.

Gabriel sais all embassy workers are now safe and offered his condolences to the family of the slain guard.

The Foreign Ministry has activated a crisis team to help deal with the aftermath of the bombing on Wednesday that hit at the heart of Kabul's diplomatic section, the explosion going off in a highly secure area close to the German and several other embassies.

Afghan officials say 64 people were killed and as many as 320 were wounded. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Gabriel says "our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims. We wish those injured a quick recovery."

He vowed that the attack would not shake Germany's determination to "support the Afghan regime with the stabilization of their country."

12:30 p.m.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has strongly condemned the massive attack in Kabul earlier in the morning, just days into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

No group has claimed responsibility for what the authorities say was a suicide car bombing that struck a highly secure diplomatic area of the Afghan capital.

Wednesday's statement from Ghani's office says the president said that "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."

Pakistan also issued a statement, saying it "strongly condemns the terrorist attack in Kabul this morning that has caused loss of precious human lives and injuries to many."

The statement from Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said "the blast has caused damage to the residences of some Pakistani diplomats and staff, living in the close vicinity, and inflicted minor injuries to some."

11:50 a.m.

The Afghan interior ministry says 64 people were killed and as many as 320 were wounded in the massive car bombing in Kabul earlier in the day.

A statement from the Ministry of Interior Affairs says it "condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack" that killed so many, including women and children. The ministry did not have details on the possible target of the attack.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing but both the Taliban and the Islamic State group have staged large-scale attacks in the Afghan capital in the past.

The explosion took place at the peak of Kabul's rush hour when roads are packed with worktime commuters. It appeared to have gone off close to a busy intersection in the Wazir Akbar Khan district — a highly secure area of the capital that is home to many embassies, diplomatic missions, the Presidential Palace and the Foreign Ministry.

10:10 a.m.

An Afghan health official says the rush-hour suicide car bombing in Kabul has killed at least nine people and wounded as many as 90.

Ismail Kawasi says it was not immediately known what the target of the attack was on Wednesday morning.

Najib Danish, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, says the explosion was so heavy that more than 30 vehicles were either destroyed or damaged at the site of the attack.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast but both the Taliban and the Islamic State group have staged large-scale attacks in the Afghan capital in the past.

8:50 a.m.

Afghan officials say a heavy explosion has caused casualties and damage in the diplomatic area of the capital Kabul.

Najib Danish, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said at least 50 people were killed or wounded in the suicide car bombing Wednesday.

The blast in the Wazir Akbar Khan area happened near several embassies and not far from the presidential palace.

Ismail Kawasi, spokesman for the public health ministry, said more than 50 wounded people are in Kabul hospitals so far.

Danish said the blast was so heavy more than 30 vehicles were either destroyed or damaged.

Windows were shattered in shops, restaurants and other buildings up to a kilometer from the blast site.

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The Latest on the rush-hour explosion that struck the Afghan capital, Kabul (all times local):1:25 p.m.An Afghan health official has raised the death toll from the massive suicide car bombing in Kabul earlier in the day, saying the attack killed 80 people.Ismail Kawasi,...
AS,Afghanistan,The Latest
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2017-22-31
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 05:22 AM
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