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Kabul explosion: BBC driver killed and four journalists wounded as 80 die in truck suicide attack

A BBC[1] driver was among at least 80 killed in a suicide bombing near Kabul’s diplomatic centre, the broadcaster has said. Four journalists were also wounded when a sewage tanker packed with explosives was detonated in a rush-hour terror attack[2] on Wednesday morning. The blast injured more than 350 people, shattered windows and blew doors off their hinges in houses hundreds of metres away.

The BBC confirmed “with great sadness” its driver Mohammed Nazir had been killed as he drove journalist colleagues to their office.

At least 80 killed by car bomb near British embassy in Kabul

Francesca Unsworth, BBC World Service director, described him as a “popular colleague” who had worked for the broadcaster’s Afghan service for four years. She added: “He was in his late thirties and leaves a young family. “This is a devastating loss to the BBC and Mohammed Nazir’s friends and family.

We are doing all we can to support them and the rest of the team in Kabul.” The four wounded journalists were taken to hospital for treatment to injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening.

The blast was powerful enough to destroy more than 50 vehicles (EPA)

The bomb, one of the deadliest in Kabul[3] and coming at the start of the holy month of Ramadan, exploded close to the fortified entrance to the German embassy, killing a security guard and wounding some staff. Afghan police said explosives were hidden in a sewage tanker that was stopped from entering the heavily protected green zone that houses houses many foreign embassies, including Britain’s, suggesting it may not have reached its intended target.

“There are several other important compounds and offices near there too,” said a spokesman. The French, Turkish, German and Chinese embassies were among those damaged the explosion, which sent clouds of black smoke into the sky near the presidential palace.

The blast went off near several foreign embassies (Reuters)

Video shot at the scene showed burning debris, crumbled walls and buildings and destroyed cars, many with dead or injured people inside. At the Wazir Akbar Khan hospital a few blocks away, there were scenes of chaos as ambulances brought in wounded and frantic relatives scanned casualty lists and questioned hospital staff for news.

“It felt like an earthquake,” said 21-year-old Mohammad Hassan, describing the moment the blast struck the bank where he was working. His head wound had been bandaged but blood still soaked his white dress shirt. The Taliban denied responsibility and said they condemned attacks that had no legitimate target and killed civilians.

Islamic State, the other main militant group active in Afghanistan, has carried out high-profile attacks in Kabul, including an attack on a military hospital in March that killed more than 50 people.


  1. ^ BBC (www.standard.co.uk)
  2. ^ a sewage tanker packed with explosives was detonated in a rush-hour terror attack (www.standard.co.uk)
  3. ^ Kabul (www.standard.co.uk)

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