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Death toll in Kabul bombing rises to 103

By Daniel Uria
Death toll in Kabul bombing rises to 103
A suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday killed 103 people and injured 253 more, as the country declared Sunday a national day of mourning. Photo by Hedayatullah Amid/EPA

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A suicide car bombing in Afghanistan on Saturday killed 103 people and left hundreds more injured, the country's Minister of Interior Wais Barmak said Sunday.

An attacker blew up an ambulance laden with explosives near a security checkpoint in Kabul on a street housing government buildings such as the former Interior Ministry building, killing 103 people and injuring 235 more.

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The ambulance was able to pass through a security checkpoint and police identified the attacker at a second checkpoint, but were unable to stop him before he detonated the explosives, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

Afghanistan's chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, condemned the attack as "insane, inhuman, heinous and a war crime," while calling on the international community to take further action against state sponsored terrorism.

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"Our priority and focus right now is to help those in need and provide the best treatment for those wounded," Abdullah wrote on Twitter. "This is the moment when we all need to stand together and punch our enemy hard. This is enough!"

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack which killed mostly civilians, according to Kabul Police spokesman Basir Mujahid.

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U.S. President Donald Trump condemned the "murderous attack," adding the tragic event "renews our resolve" to support Afghanistan.

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"The Taliban's cruelty will not prevail," Trump said. "The United States is committed to a secure Afghanistan that is free from terrorists who would target Americans, our allies, and anyone who does not share their wicked ideology. Now, all countries should take decisive action against the Taliban and the terrorist infrastructure that supports them."

Afghanistan declared a national day of mourning Sunday and flags were flown at half staff throughout the country after the attack.

The government also set aside Monday as a public holiday and Tuesday a day of prayer for the victims, said presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi.

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The bombing follows a more than 12-hour siege on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul that killed at least 22 people on Jan. 20.

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