NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A truck bomb in a diplomatic area of Kabul, Afghanistan has killed at least 90 people and wounded 400 others.
A thick cloud of black smoke billowed over the area where the massive truck bomb exploded during the peak of Kabul’s rush hour Wednesday. The blast is said to be one of the worst the city has seen since the drawdown of American forces from the country in 2014.
The bomb was reportedly hidden in a sewage tanker.
The blast site is one of the most secure areas in the country — Western embassies and the presidential palace are located there. Nine Afghan guards at the U.S. Embassy were killed and 11 American contractors were wounded, CBS2’s Dana Tyler reported.
The German Embassy suffered major damage from the blast that left a crater more than 15 feet deep.
The powerful explosion also blew out windows of nearby shops in an area protected by dozens of 10 foot high blast walls and government offices guarded by security forces.
Emergency crews rushed the injured to area hospitals in the back of pick-up trucks and ambulances.
So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Taliban says it was not involved.
For 16 years, U.S. troops and NATO allies have been fighting alongside Afghan forces to crush the Taliban and more recently ISIS in Afghanistan.
U.S. commander John Nicholson requested more troops from the Senate Armed Forces Committee earlier this year, claiming that American forces in the war-torn country are “in a stalemate.”
It’s costing America $3 billion a month to keep just over 8,000 troops in Afghanistan.
In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States offers “our deepest condolences to those injured and killed in Kabul.”
He added the U.S. commitment to the government and people of Afghanistan is unwavering.