At least 40 people were killed and more than 140 were wounded in central Kabul on Saturday when the Taliban detonated a car bomb, Waheed Majrouh, a spokesman for the Public Health Ministry, said.
Officials said the casualty number could rise since the attack happened during lunchtime when many people were in the street.
“It’s a massacre,” said Dejan Panic, a coordinator with the NGO Emergency, which operates at hospital in city that treated victims.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said targeted a building used by the Interior Ministry and High Peace Council. The Council was set up in 2010 to negotiate with the insurgent group.
The explosion happened at a checkpoint and left a number of police officers killed or wounded, the Taliban said in a statement.
“It was lunchtime and many civilians were also waiting at the checkpoint,” said Abdulrahim, who works at the High Peace Council and, like many Afghans, only uses one name.