Ambulance bomb kills over 100 people in Afghanistan

A man reacts after hearing his son was killed during a car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan January 27, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Afghanistan’s capital was rocked by powerful blast from an ambulance car bomb Saturday, as it killed over a hundred people and injured more than 230 others.

On Sunday, Afghan authorities revised the death toll from 95 to 103, with the number of injured individuals rising from 150 to 235. The bombing is the most deadly attack in the country so far this year. Security officials have warned the population of possible future attacks.

The attack occurred at one of the most heavily protected areas in the city, where many foreign embassies and government buildings are located. It targeted a busy thoroughfare for Kabul’s population near the entrance to the former Interior Ministry building of Afghanistan.

Interior Minister Wais Barmak said at least two vehicles painted as ambulances were involved in the bombing. Despite the tight security measures in the area, the rigged vehicles were able to get through security checkpoints without difficulty due to their ambulance front.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying that it was a message to United States president Donald Trump, who sent more American soldiers to Afghanistan last year. The insurgent group also said that Trump ordered more air strikes in the country and gave more assistance to Afghanistan forces.

“The Islamic Emirate has a clear message for Trump and his hand kissers that if you go ahead with a policy of aggression and speak from the barrel of a gun, don’t expect Afghans to grow flowers in response,” said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement.

Meanwhile, Trump called all countries to carry out decisive action against the Taliban. “All countries should take decisive action against the Taliban and the terrorist infrastructure that supports them,” he said. “The Taliban’s cruelty will not prevail.”

The bombing comes one week after Taliban killed 20 people during a stand-off between insurgents and security officers in the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. Meanwhile, six people were killed by the Islamic State in an attack in the city of Jalalabad.