Security camera footage of Wednesday’s massive vehicle borne explosive device (VBIED) has been obtained. Watch below.
The original article by OpsLens following the attack is below.
At Least 90 Killed, Hundreds Injured in Massive Kabul Diplomatic Quarter Blast
At least 90 people were killed, with reports of over 400 injured, in a blast that occurred in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday morning. The massive explosion ripped through Kabul’s diplomatic quarter, shattering the morning rush hour and bringing carnage to the streets of the Afghan capital.
According to Najib Danish, an interior ministry spokesperson, a car bomb exploded in the Wazir Akbar Khan Diplomatic District. He said many people had been killed, but authorities were unable to report exact figures. The death toll is sure to rise. He could not give a breakdown of the casualties but said many more were injured. Danish added that the blast was so powerful that more than 30 vehicles were either destroyed or damaged.
A health ministry spokesperson said that more than 67 wounded people, mainly civilians, had been rushed to Kabul’s hospitals, adding, “We don’t know the number killed yet.” The blast was confirmed by the NATO-led Resolute Support forces, who put the time of the blast at 8:22 a.m. local time.
Reports indicate that bodies littered the scene, and a huge plume of smoke rose from the area that houses foreign embassies. The explosion was centered close to the German Embassy, and many casualties came from the area around the embassy’s fortified entrance. At this point, it is not clear what the target was. The diplomatic district is home to many embassies and government buildings and is one of the busiest portions of Kabul.
Witnesses described dozens of cars choking the roads as wounded survivors tried to make their way out of the area. Rescue efforts were complicated, with men and woman struggling to get through security checkpoints to search for loved ones. Pictures emerging on social media show a chaotic scene, with bloodied people lying around as emergency personnel tried to evacuate victims.
Kabul shopkeepers as far as a mile from the scene were seen sweeping glass from windows as parents arrived to escort panicking children home from school. Jessica Donati, who covers Afghanistan for the Wall Street Journal, said, “Massive explosion just shattered all the windows and glass in our bureau.”
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack came as the resurgent Taliban are stepping up their annual “spring offensive.” The Islamic State group has also claimed responsibility for several recent bombings in the Afghan capital, including a powerful blast targeting an armored NATO convoy that killed at least eight people and wounded 28 on May 3.
Since the withdrawal of most coalition troops, Afghanistan has suffered increasing insecurity. Afghan forces have been hit hard by large numbers of casualties and rampant desertions. The Afghan security forces are struggling to beat back the insurgents. More than one-third of the country is outside government control.
The US and NATO forces back Afghan troops, and the Pentagon has reportedly asked the White House to send thousands more troops to the country to break the deadlocked fight against the Taliban.
US troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 today, and there are another 5,000 from NATO allies, who also mainly serve in an advisory capacity—a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago.
Pentagon chief Jim Mattis has warned of “another tough year” for both foreign troops and local forces in Afghanistan.
The blast was the latest in an increasing tempo of attacks in Kabul. The province surrounding the capital had the highest number of casualties in the first three months of 2017 thanks to multiple attacks in the city, with civilians bearing the brunt of the violence.
Original article by OpsLens Senior Contributor Jon Harris.