“The number of deaths at this time is 28, while 141 people were wounded, half of them hospitalised,” health ministry spokesman Abdullah Fahim said, adding that the figure was based on information from several hospitals. ( Watch )
The blast destroyed about four cars outside the embassy in the heart of the city, and flesh and broken limbs were scattered at the scene, an Afghan witness said. The bomber hit the thick embassy gate, he said.
“It was a suicide car bomb in front of the Indian embassy,” interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said. “There are casualties but at this time I don’t have a figure.”
The powerful rush-hour blast sent a plume of brown smoke into the air and could be heard across the city centre. It shattered the windows of shops several hundred metres (yards) away, an AFP reporter said.
Police immediately sealed off the scene and kept people away.
Kabul has in recent years been hit by a series bomb attacks, including suicide attacks, blamed mainly on Taliban.
Days earlier, a suicide blast in the city struck a convoy of the US-led coalition military force which is helping Afghanistan defeat a Taliban insurgency and train its army.
The soldiers all survived but three civilians were killed.
One of the most daring rebel attacks in the city was on April 27 when militants opened fire on President Hamid Karzai as he was about to address the country’s largest annual military parade.
A parliamentarian and two other Afghans were killed, but the president was unhurt. The attack shocked Afghanistan and its allies.
The Taliban were ousted in an invasion led by the United States in late 2001 after the rebels refused to hand over al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden following the September 11 attacks on the United States.