Dutch PM, FM condemn "barbaric" attack in Afghanistan; 80 killed, over 360 wounded

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Bert Koenders (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons). Bert Koenders (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

Both Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders spoke out against a massive bombing in the Afghan capital of Kabul this morning that left at least 80 people dead and an estimated 364 people wounded. The attack was committed with a tanker during morning rush hour, in an area that houses many embassies and ministries, AD reports. 

"Terrible attack in Kabul. A number of international partners also hit hard. Our thoughts go out to all the victims", Rutte said on Twitter.

Koenders confirmed that no employees of the Dutch embassy, located a few blocks away from where the tanker exploded, were injured. "I condemn this horrible and barbaric attack in Kabul this morning", Koenders said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with the many, many victims and their families and friends. This attack shows again that our support to Afghanistan and the development of the country is still needed. Together we fight against terrorism."

According to eye witnesses, the explosion damaged buildings hundreds of meters away. Windows shattered and doors were blown out of their hinges. About 50 cars were destroyed in the blow, AD reports.The damaged buildings include the Turkish, Chinese, German and French embassies. A number of German embassy workers were injured, according to German Foreign Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel. Pakistani and Japanese embassy workers are also among the wounded.  

"The Dutch embassy workers are fortunately safe and unharmed", Koenders said. "They and their foreign colleagues are on the front line and deserve all our support."

According to the NATO-led stabilization mission Resolute Support, Afghan security forces stopped the tanker with the bomb entering a heavily secured green zone. This seems to indicate that the attackers did not reach their intended goal.

So far no one claimed responsibility for this massacre, though according to AD it is assumed that Sunni extremists are behind the attack. An attack in Kabul earlier this month was claimed by terrorist organization Islamic State. A spokesperson for the Taliban told an Arab news channel that they aren't behind today's attack. 

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