17 dead in Kabul blast

The ambulance exploded at a police checkpoint in the capital near government buildings and embassies, Reuters reported.

India today strongly condemned the "barbaric and dastardly" terrorist attack in Kabul targeting innocent civilians, and extended all possible assistance, including for treatment of the injured.

An AFP reporter saw "lots of dead and wounded" civilians in the nearby Jamuriate hospital where overwhelmed medical staff struggled to treat bloodied men, women and children lying in corridors.

The blast occurred around 12:45 p.m. local time after the vehicle passed through a security checkpoint, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told CNN.

Among many smaller assaults which killed dozens of people were an attack on Afghanistan's largest military hospital in March which officially left at least 50 people dead, though security sources and survivors say the toll exceeded 100.

Rahimi said the bomber driving the ambulance pretended to be going to the nearby Jamhuriat Hospital.

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The Taliban has claimed that it was behind the the attack.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the bombing, which sent thick, black smoke into the sky from the site near the government's former Interior Ministry building.

The blast in Kabul came just hours after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-filled auto outside a military base in the southern province of Helmand.

"My government and I stand with the fearless people of Afghanistan", Bass said in a statement.

The Afghan Public Health Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Ismayeel Kawosi reportedly confirmed the casualty figures and stated that the injured persons have been rushed to different hospitals.

People helped walking-wounded away as ambulances with sirens wailing inched their way through the traffic-clogged streets of the city center.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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