9 Killed, About 100 Injured in Explosion Near Foreign Embassies in Kabul

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Map of Afghanistan highlighting Kabul. (Credit: CNN)

A huge explosion hit near foreign embassies in Kabul on Wednesday morning, killing at least nine and injuring 100 others, Afghan officials said.

Video from the scene showed a massive plume of smoke and emergency vehicles speeding toward it. Soldiers in fatigues stood with guns drawn nearby as sounds of screams, blaring sirens and traffic pierced the morning sky.

Bystanders lifted an injured man from the back of a pickup as others hovered nearby in bloody clothes, some pressing pieces of cloth to their wounds.

The blast was caused by a suicide attack near the German Embassy, according to Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry. The health ministry said the people injured were taken to various hospitals.

Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Donati said a vehicle packed with explosives detonated close to the green zone entrance. It injured one employee and shattered windows in the newspaper’s bureau, which is in the most fortified area and requires passing through several checkpoints to get there, she said.

“I was lucky because I was in the shower at the time,” she said.

The blast hit a really busy time in Kabul, when everyone was going to work.

“A lot of people come into this part of the city to work in embassies or at the military base,” she said,

India’s foreign minister said that the nation’s embassy staff is all accounted for,

“By God’s grace, Indian Embassy staff are safe in the massive #Kabul blast,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

The green zone houses western embassies, government institutions and the residences of high-ranking officials and their families.