Cong condemns Afghan terror attack

"Unfortunately the toll has reached 80 martyred (killed) and over 300 wounded, including many women and children", said health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh, adding the figures would continue to climb as more bodies are pulled from the debris.

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.

In addition, Afghanistan's intelligence agency blamed the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network for the attack.

AFP PHOTO / WAKIL KOHSARAn Afghan resident stands alongside a man wounded in a vehicle bomb attack at a hospital in Kabul on 31 May, 2017.

Gen. John Nicholson, commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and US forces in the country, applauded the Afghan security forces for preventing the truck full of explosives from entering the Green Zone. The bomb exploded close to the German embassy, where a number of staff were injured. "Two Japanese embassy staffers were mildly injured, suffering cuts", a foreign ministry official in Tokyo told AFP.

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Up to now no terror group has claimed responsability for the attack that has been condemed internationally.

While neither IS or Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack thus far, the attack has been described as "one of the deadliest" since a similar attack past year that killed nearly 100 people.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani visits a victim of the Kabul attack.

US and Afghan forces have been battling the Taliban insurgency for more than 15 years.

Ten New Zealanders are now registered as being in Afghanistan. The Taliban controls swaths of territory outside of city centers.

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In an interview, Sadeqizada criticized USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in Afghanistan, saying they have done little to improve protection in the country. "More than 50 vehicles were either destroyed or damaged", it said in a statement.

"I've never seen such a powerful explosion in my life", said Mohammad Haroon, who owns a nearby sporting goods store. The Chinese, Turkish and Iranian embassies are also located there.

France, India, Turkey, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Bulgaria similarly reported damage to their embassies, including shattered windows, as the blast drew an avalanche of global condemnation.

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

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that along with an Afghan guard who was killed, a German diplomat was slightly wounded and an Afghan staffer had severe injuries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said there was nothing to suggest any New Zealanders had been caught up in the bombing.

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