Kabul, Afghanistan was rocked by a huge car bomb explosion in the diplomatic security area of the capital on Wednesday morning.

According to Afghani Ministry of Health sources, at least 80 were dead and 350 wounded with the majority of those being women and children. It was the worst terrorist incident in the country since the coalition drawdown of troops in 2014.

“The attack demonstrates a complete disregard for civilians and reveals the barbaric nature of the enemy faced by the Afghan people,” the statement continued. “It also highlights the hypocrisy of the enemy who claim that they only target Afghan Security Forces and Foreign forces, yet continue to cause death and suffering amongst innocent Afghans.”

The German Foreign Ministry said German embassy workers were wounded in the blast, and that an Afghan security official who had been protecting the building was killed.

The Taliban on Wednesday denied involvement in the bombing. Both the Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have staged large-scale attacks in the Afghan capital in the past.

The explosion occurred at the peak of Kabul’s rush hour when roads are packed with worktime commuters, Patta reports.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul warned American citizens to avoid the area of the blast and cancelled all its appointments for routine American Citizen Services for the day.

Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani’s office condemned the “cowardly attack in the holy Month of Ramadan targeting innocent civilians in their daily life,” while the U.S. Embassy Kabul Special Charge d’Affaires Hugo Llorens said, “This 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 terrorists, and those who provide them support in any form, deserve the utter scorn of all civilized people around the world.”

The Green Zone neighborhood is considered Kabul’s safest area, with foreign embassies, press bureaus, and government offices protected by dozens of 10-foot-high blast walls and guarded by police and national security forces.

The BBC said that one of their staff, driver Mohammed Nazir, had been killed in the attack and that four BBC journalists had been injured.

The Taliban denied involvement in the blast that destroyed more than 50 cars and blew out windows in shops and restaurants around a huge area, up to half a mile of the city.

The entire article and interview from CBS News can be found here:

Photo Courtesy of Reuters