Powerful explosion rocks Afghan capital Kabul, many injured

An injured man is transferred to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 1, 2019.
An injured man is transferred to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 1, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

KABUL (REUTERS) - A powerful blast hit Kabul's diplomatic district during rush hour on Monday (July 1), sending a plume of black smoke over the Afghan capital, with tens of injured taken to hospital, with ambulances ferrying still more, the authorities said.

Reuters witnesses said the sound shook their office building, with sporadic gunfire and the wail of ambulance sirens piercing the air.

Kabul's chief police spokesman Firdous Faramaz said there was a loud explosion, but gave no details. No militant group has yet claimed responsibility.

Tens of injured people have been taken to hospitals, said health ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar. Ambulances are expected to bring in more.

The blast hit a densely populated area surrounding the ministry of defence, interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said. A truck loaded with explosives was detonated near the ministry's engineering department, a security official said.

This story is developing.