A Truck Bomb In Kabul, Afghanistan, Has Killed At Least 80 People

As the Associated Press reports, Afghan officials said the target of the suicide bombing wasn't immediately known, adding that most of the causalities were civilians, many of whom were women and children. "Everywhere was on fire and so many people were in critical condition".

The insurgent group rarely claims responsibility for attacks that kill large numbers of civilians.

The Taliban - now in the midst of their annual "spring offensive" - denied they were involved, while strongly condemning the blast.

The Afghan Health Ministry put the number of dead at 80.

Security around the blast site was tight and included forces from the coalition led by the United States.

The blast sent clouds of black smoke spiralling over the centre of the city in an area near the presidential palace and foreign embassies.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also condemned the attack, which came just days into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The MEA further said that India is ready to render any assistance to the Government and the people of Afghanistan and all possible support to bring perpetrators of the attack to justice. The suicide truck bomb hit a highly secure diplomatic area.

"The fact that these intelligence failures keep happening suggest that something isn't working at the top, and major and urgent changes are needed in security policy", he said by email.

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The US has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan.

"I don't think that more US or North Atlantic Treaty Organisation soldiers can solve the security problems in Afghanistan", he said. A French minister said French and German embassies were damaged in the blast.

In the past year, US troops have largely focused on thwarting a surge in Taliban attacks.

It was one of the worst attacks Kabul had seen since the drawdown of foreign forces from the country at the end of 2014. More than 50 cars were either destroyed or damaged.

The ministry called on Kabul residents to donate blood, saying hospitals were in "dire need". Passers-by stopped and helped the wounded into private cars, others congregated outside the nearby Italian-run Emergency Hospital. Other nearby embassies include those of the U.S., Britain, Pakistan and Iran, as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission. The BBC said one of its drivers, an Afghan, was killed driving journalists to work.

The official said none of the wounded Americans appears to have life-threatening injuries.

Jan 10Thirty-three people were killed and more than 70 wounded in a Taliban attack near an annex to the new Indian-financed parliament building.

The center also says that 400 people are now reported to have been wounded in the attack on this morning.

Earlier, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the "heinous terrorist attack". Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban, said the Kabul explosion had "nothing to do with the Mujahedeen of Islamic Emirate", as the Taliban call themselves.

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