Bombing in diplomatic area of Kabul kills 80, wounds scores

At least 90 people were killed and 400 wounded when the bomb ripped through a secure area of Kabul at the height of the Wednesday morning rush hour, Afghan officials said.

A water tanker loaded with explosives blew up amid a deafening roar near the German Embassy here on Wednesday, killing at least 80 people, wounding around 350 and causing widespread destruction, authorities said.

"Among the fatalities are most likely Afghan security personnel who were employed at the German embassy".

Shocked residents soaked in blood stumbled in the streets before being taken to hospitals.

Afghanistan's war, the longest ever involving USA troops, has shown no sign of letting up, and the introduction into the battle of an Islamic State affiliate has made the country only more volatile.

It was one of the worst attacks Kabul had seen since the drawdown of foreign forces from the country at the end of 2014.

Germany has had troops in Afghanistan for 15 years, primarily in the north in and around Mazar-e-Sharif. Since most global troops withdrew at the end of 2014, the Taliban have gained ground and now control or contest about 40 per cent of the country, according to U.S. estimates.

The BBC said its Afghan driver Mohammed Nazir was killed and four of their journalists wounded.

"Let's be clear: This is an intelligence failure, as has been the case with so many other attacks in Kabul and beyond".

The first report said 19 people had been killed but the death toll rose rapidly as ambulances and police vehicles rushed the wounded and the barely alive to hospitals.

Manpreet Vohra, India's envoy to Afghanistan, told the Times Now television channel the bomb went off around 100 metres from India's embassy, one of several in the area. All staff were safe, he said, though the blast left "considerable damage", including shattered windows.

Gannon reported from Islamabad. You have encouraged us in our mission - to provide quality news and watchdog journalism. And our promise to you is that we will always strive to provide indispensable journalism to our community.

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