Powerful blast rattles Kabul, close to state buildings, US embassy

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At least 50 people were killed  and over 200 injured when a powerful Taliban suicide bombing rattled central Kabul near the defence ministry , triggering a heavy firefight in a densely packed neighbourhood which is home to several government buildings.

A thick plume of black smoke could be seen rising from the vicinity of the sprawling US embassy in central Kabul   as also many important government buildings were targeted  including  Afghanistan’s main security agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS)..

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack near the Afghan intelligence agency office,Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the militant group said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed their fighters had managed to enter the office of the National Directorate of Security, the main Afghan spy agency.

Afghani President Ashraf Ghani said “many” people had been killed in the attack, without specifying a number.

Ghani slammed the attack “in the strongest possible terms,” adding that the offices of Afghanistan’s main security agency were the target.

“(We) condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Puli Mahmood Khan neighbourhood of Kabul, as a result of which many of our countrymen were martyred and wounded,” he said in a statement.

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