A deadly car bomb has devastated a diplomatic area in the Afghan capital of Kabul killing at least 12 people, including three NATO contractors and injuring up to 66. Early reports suggest that it was a suicide attack aimed at a NATO foreign military convoy which was travelling through the area.
The blast struck near the Shinozada hospital in the capital's Macrorayan neighborhood today (22 August), a few miles from the US embassy. Three victims were contractors at a military coalition called Resolute Support and the other nine were Afghan civilians, according to Al Jazeera.
"Twelve dead bodies and 66 wounded people were taken to several Kabul hospitals," health official Kabir Amiry said to Reuters. "Some were in a bad condition," he added.
The military coalition confirmed the attack on its convoy with US Army Colonel Brian Tribus, director of Resolute Support public affairs, telling to the Wall Street Journal: "One Resolute Support contracted civilian was killed in the attack and two others died of wounds as a result of the attack."
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said his group was not behind the blast.
It is understood that the bomb was placed in a Toyota sedan and parts of the car ripped apart by the explosion littered the street nearby. Windows of the nearby hospital and an unconnected six-storey building opposite were destroyed along with several vehicles also in the road.
There have been a number of attacks in the city within the past month since the Afghan Taliban announced that Mullah Akhtar Mansour will be its new leader. Earlier in August, a suicide bomber killed five people when they attacked a checkpoint at the international airport in Kabul.
US-led NATO forces ended their mission in Afghanistan in December 2014. But 13,000 troops remain in the country, engaged in counter-terrorism operations.