Update: Blast in Afghan capital of Kabul: Death toll rises to 80, 320 injured
Latest media reports highlight the death toll due to the blast in the capital of Afghanistan has reached 80.
A powerful vehicle bomb has struck the diplomatic area of the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing at least 49 people and injuring 320.
A powerful car bomb has exploded in the centre of Afghanistan’s capital, sending clouds of black smoke spiralling over the centre of the city in an area near the presidential palace and foreign embassies.
The Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frances Adamson, has told a Senate hearing that all of Australia’s diplomatic staff in Kabul were “safe and had been accounted for”.
The blast struck close to the German embassy in Zanbaq Square with civilians said to be the main casualties.
Early reports say the blast was caused by a car bomb in central Zanbaq Square, with windows and doors blown out hundreds of metres away.
Images on social media show a large cloud of black smoke over the city and a series of destroyed vehicles.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. The central blast area has been cordoned off by police.