KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide attacker struck the fortified heart of the Afghan capital with a massive truck bomb Wednesday, killing 90 people, wounding 400 and raising new fears about the government’s ability to protect its citizens nearly 16 years into a war with insurgents.
The bomber drove into Kabul’s heavily guarded diplomatic quarter during the morning rush hour, leaving behind a bloody scene of chaos and destruction in one of the worst attacks since the drawdown of foreign forces from Afghanistan in 2014.
Most of the casualties were civilians, including women and children, said Ismail Kawasi, spokesman of the public health ministry. But the dead also included Afghan security guards at the facilities, including the U.S. Embassy, while 11 American contractors were wounded — none with life-threatening injuries, a U.S. State Department official said.
“I have been to many attacks, taken wounded people out of many blast sites, but I can say I have ever seen such a horrible attack as I saw this morning,” ambulance driver Alef Ahmadzai told The Associated Press. “Everywhere was on fire and so many people were in critical condition.”
There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, which came in the first week of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The Taliban flatly denied any involvement in an email to news outlets and condemned all attacks against civilians.