80 killed in blast near diplomatic area in Afghanistan

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the bombing. It hit about 400 yards from the German Embassy in one of the busiest parts of town, near big supermarkets and shops.

The Taliban later Wednesday issued a statement denying any involvement and condemning all attacks against civilians.

President Donald Trump spoke with Ghani after the attack, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemned it as a "senseless and cowardly act".

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's foreign minister, said that an Afghan security guard was killed and several employees of the German embassy wounded in the blast.

USA and Afghan forces have been battling the Taliban insurgency for more than 15 years.

Kawasi, the health official, said the wounded were admitted to different Kabul hospitals.

It also expressed its readiness to render any assistance to Afghanistan and all possible support to bring perpetrators of the attack to justice.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack that killed at least 80 people and injured over 460 others, but Afghanistan's Intelligence Service says evidence suggests that the Haqqani network, a militant group affiliated with the Taliban, carried out the attack with help from Pakistan.

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis has warned of "another tough year" for both foreign troops and local forces in Afghanistan.

Hugo Llorens, the USA ambassador to Afghanistan, said the "horrific and shameful attack demonstrates these terrorists' complete disregard for human life and their nihilistic opposition to the dream of a peaceful future for Afghanistan", the AP reported.

The neighbourhood is considered Kabul's safest area, with foreign embassies protected by dozens of 10-foot-high blast walls and government offices, guarded by police and national security forces. "More than 50 vehicles were either destroyed or damaged", it said in a statement. "However, the blast was very large and nearby buildings including our own building have considerable damage in terms of broken glass and shattered windows and blown doors etc", he said.

At least 11 U.S. citizens assigned to the United States embassy as contractors were injured in the blast in Kabul, according to USA officials.

Dimroth says the decision to postpone deportations was not due to a reassessment of the danger, but rather because the embassy in Kabul is not in a position to deal with the return of the deportees after being damaged in the attack.

For 16 years, US troops and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have been fighting alongside Afghan forces to crush the Taliban and more recently ISIS in Afghanistan.

Germany has had troops in Afghanistan for 15 years, primarily in the north in and around Mazar-e-Sharif.

Neighboring Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the bomb damaged residences of some of its diplomats and staff and caused some minor injuries.

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