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, Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan 27,An explosives-packed ambulance blew up in a crowded area of Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 95 people and wounding 158 others, officials said, in one of the biggest blasts to rock the war-torn city in recent years.
The Taliban-claimed assault — the second carried out by the militant group in the Afghan capital in a week — triggered chaotic scenes as terrified survivors fled the area scattered with body parts, blood and debris, and hospitals were overwhelmed by the large number of wounded.
It came as both the insurgents and the Islamic State group have escalated their attacks on Kabul, one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan for civilians.
An AFP reporter saw “lots of dead and wounded” civilians in the Jamuriate hospital, which is metres away from the blast and where medical staff struggled to treat the bloodied men, women and children lying on the floor in corridors.
Health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh told AFP that the toll “now stands at 95 dead, 158 wounded”, shortly after the interior ministry warned that an earlier death toll of 63 could rise.
The blast happened in an area where several high-profile organisations, including the European Union, have offices. Members of the EU delegation in Kabul were in their “safe room” and there were no casualties, an official told AFP.
The force of the explosion shook windows of buildings at least two kilometres (more than a mile) away and caused some low-rise structures in the immediate vicinity to collapse.