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Massacre in Kabul’s Diplomatic Quarter on Eve of Trump’s Decision | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Men move an injured man to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Kabul- A massive explosion ripped through Kabul’s diplomatic district during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, killing at least 90 people and injuring more than 300, including children and women.

The tight security measures that protect the embassies in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood of the Afghan capital, could not prevent one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Afghanistan,

The blast was caused by 1.5 tons of explosives hidden inside a tanker used to drain sewage reservoirs near the German Embassy compound.

The Afghan Interior Ministry said a suicide bomber had detonated the explosives hidden in a sewage truck at 8:30 a.m. local time.

One Western diplomatic source told AFP news agency the blast had been caused by more than 1,500kg of explosives and left a seven-meter deep crater at the scene.

Local authorities said that the number of casualties might rise after workers were still digging for bodies from the site following the explosion.

The US State Department said 11 American citizens working in Kabul were among the wounded.

Wednesday’s blast caused severe material damages to the German, French, Japanese, Turkish, UAE, Indian and Bulgarian embassies.

The blast shook the entire city of Kabul and had left huge damages at the scene, according to images taken from the air and broadcasted by the Afghan private Tolo television channel.

On Wednesday, the Taliban denied responsibility and said they condemned attacks that killed civilians. As for the ISIS organization, which had executed several deadly attacks in Kabul in the past few months, it has not made any immediate stance from the explosion.

The blast also came as US President Donald Trump is due to decide on a recommendation to send 3,000 to 5,000 more troops to the NATO training force and US counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan.

US troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 now, and there are another 5,000 from NATO allies. They mainly serve in an advisory capacity — a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago.