A car bomb exploded in Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 49 people and injuring scores of others. The blast, according to reports, happened near the Wazir Akbar Khan Area, not far from the presidential palace. Windows and doors of several embassy buildings within the blast vicinity were damaged. Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that the staff at the Indian Embassy in Kabul are safe.
1.00 pm: At least 90 people were killed and 350 wounded in Kabul on Wednesday when a powerful vehicle-borne bomb exploded in the middle of the Afghan capital, a public health official told news agency Reuters.
12.15 pm: A video shot by Afghan news channel TOLO news shows smoke billowing from the blast debris and emergency services rushing the victims to the hospitals. Security forces have also arrived at the scene to secure the area.
12.00 pm: At least 49 were killed and 300 injured in the car explosion, news agency AFP reported.
11.30 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the blast in Kabul. “We strongly condemn the terrorist blast in Kabul. Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased & prayers with the injured. India stands with Afghanistan in fighting all types of terrorism. Forces supporting terrorism need to be defeated,” he tweeted.
11.00 pm: At least 9 people were reportedly killed in the blast.
10.30 pm: Associated Press reported that the blast took place in Wazir Akbar Khan area, not far from where several embassies are housed. Public health ministry spokesperson, Ismail Kawasi told the news agency that the wounded, believed to be around 50, were rushed to several hospitals in Kabul.
10.20 pm: Wall Street Journal’s Afghanistan correspondent, Jessica Donati confirmed the blast: “Massive explosion just shattered all the windows and glass in our bureau.”
10.10 pm: We have reports coming in that close to 50 people have been killed or injured in the explosion. News agency Reuters, citing Afghan officials, reported that 50 people are feared dead or injured.
10.00 pm: Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “By God’s grace, Indian Embassy staff are safe in the massive #Kabul blast.”
Indian Ambassador in Kabul, Manpreet Vohra said the explosion was not too far from the embassy. “Massive VBIED (Vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) not too far from our Embassy,” Vohra said.