KABUL, Afghanistan – At least 40 people were killed and more than 140 were injured when a bomb planted in an ambulance caused a huge explosion on a busy street in Kabul on Saturday, Afghan officials they said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred days after a 15-hour Taliban assault at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul that left 22 dead, including 14 foreigners.
The explosion occurred in a guarded place A street leading to an old Ministry of the Interior building and several embassies, authorities said. Many ministerial departments still have offices there, and visitors line up every day for routine matters.
Baseer Mujahid, a spokesman for the Kabul police, said the terrorist passed the first checkpoint at the entrance to the street. "The police stopped the vehicle at the second checkpoint," said Mr. Mujahid. "Then he tried to drive from the wrong lane.
" Once again, the police tried to stop him. But it detonated the vehicle loaded with explosives. "
Hospitals in the city were overwhelmed by the number of injuries, and officials feared that the death toll could rise.
" It's a critical situation, "said Waheed Majroh, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health.
"It's a massacre", said Dejan Panic the coordinator of the trauma hospitals of the emergency relief organization in Afghanistan.At least 70 people were taken to the group's hospital in Kabul.
Many of the buildings and shops on the street were smashed, their windows exploded. Ambulances and police vans loaded the victims and rushed to the hospitals. Chaos prevailed when security forces began to fight each other, and while members of the family begged the police to allow them to seek news of their loved ones.
"I saw a flame that blinded my eyes, then I was unconscious," he said. Nazeer Ahmad, 45, who was wounded in the head. "When I opened my eyes, I saw bodies lying on the ground"
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