KABUL – Afghanistan’s health ministry raised on Sunday the number of people injured in the Taliban ambulance car-bomb attack in Kabul to 191, while maintaining the death toll at 95.
On Saturday, a suicide bomber detonated an ambulance loaded with explosives in a busy commercial area near the former Interior Ministry building and a facility of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), in an attack claimed by the Taliban.
Wahidullah Majroh, spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Health, said in a press conference that the wounded include nine women and 182 men – most of them still admitted in hospitals in Kabul – raising the number of injured from the 158 reported on Saturday.
“Although the number of victims was high, we had enough blood in our blood banks and hospitals in the city to donate to the victims,” said Majroh.
“A large number of citizens also rushed to hospitals to donate blood for the victims,” he said, adding that the high number of wounded led to them being admitted to five different hospitals.
According to the spokesperson, the Jamhuriat hospital – situated nearby and allegedly the place where the ambulance laden with explosives departed from – was also damaged in the explosion.
“The exact damage to the Jamhuriat hospital is yet to be determined, but most of the medical equipment in the emergency Ward of the hospital was damaged and nearly all glasses and windows were shattered,” Majroh said.
The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, said that the attack was an “atrocity” and added that the use of a vehicle with medical emblems was in violation of international humanitarian law.
The international community has also unequivocally condemned the attack, which comes just a week after another attack against civilians at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, carried out by six Taliban insurgents, killed more than 20 people including 14 foreigners.
In the coming weeks UNAMA is set to release its annual report on civilian casualties in the Afghan conflict in 2017; 3,498 civilians were killed and 7,920 injured in 2016, according to the report.
Although in the first nine months of 2017 the civilian death toll dropped by 6 percent – its first decline since 2012 – the numbers remained quite high with 2,640 dead and 5,379 wounded.