Kabul blast: Several died due to heart-attack; IS claims responsibility

A massive truck bomb in Kabul exploded in one of the safest areas of Afghanistan’s capital Wednesday, killing 80 and injuring hundreds more.It also severely damaged banks, a telecommunications firm, public and private properties, and foreign embassies, including the Turkish, German, and Iranian missions, but no Turkish casualties were reported. “Such attacks do not change our resolve in continuing to support the Afghan government in the stabilization of the country”, he said.FOUR BBC journalists were injured and their Afghan driver killed when they were caught up in a suicide bombing in Kabul that left 80 dead.The powerful explosion occurred at a time when Kabul’s roads were packed with commuters.Pajhwok news agency quoted Najib Danish of the Ministry of Interior as saying that it was a suicide auto bombing. The area is in close proximity to a number of foreign embassies and government buildings, including the Presidential Palace and the Foreign Ministry. Windows in the Indian Embassy were shattered.The bomb was detonated near Zanbaq Square outside the Green Zone, according to the NATO-led Resolute Support mission, which adds that Afghan security forces kept the vehicle bomb from entering the Green Zone, “but the explosion caused civilian casualties in the vicinity”.Bystanders lifted wounded people from the back of cars as others hovered nearby as if in a daze, blood streaming down their faces.The Taliban, which has recently begun its annual spring offensive – and is the strongest terrorist organization in the country – has denied responsibility for the attack. Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s spokesman, said in a statement, “Our countrymen must rest assured that the Kabul attack is not the work of Mujahideen”.The bomb blast on the highly-secured area is said to be “one of the biggest” in the city, which has already been the target of many terrorist attacks in the first three months of 2017.Earlier, the Interior Ministry in a statement released here confirmed 64 civilians died while 320 others including women and children were injured.Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Foreign Minister, said on Twitter later Wednesday that a guard outside the embassy had been killed and that staff working within the consulate had been injured.U.S. troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 today, and there are another 5,000 from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, who also mainly serve in an advisory capacity – a far cry from the USA presence of more than 100,000 six years ago. He said more than 30 vehicles were destroyed or damaged.The blast was caused by a suicide attack near the German Embassy, according to Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry.”The attack took place in an area where many government facilities and foreign missions are located”.Indian media reports said windows and doors of the Indian embassy were damaged when the explosion hit just 50m away from the building.He said the bomb had detonated “in the immediate vicinity” of the German embassy. “We strongly condemn this heinous terrorist attack, wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the wounded, as well as convey our condolences to the brotherly government and people of Afghanistan”.NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted: “My thoughts are with all those affected. #NATO stands w/ Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism”.The explosion also shattered windows at the Japanese embassy.Some 80 people were killed and almost 300 others wounded when a suicide bomb exploded Wednesday in Afghanistan. “Where did they get support?” the minister questioned.