At least 11 USA citizens injured in Kabul blast

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

The Wazir Akbar Khan district of the city is in close proximity to a number of foreign embassies and government buildings, including the Presidential Palace and the foreign ministry. The Chinese, Turkish and Iranian embassies are also located there. The Islamic State claimed responsibility, Afghan broadcaster 1 TV reported.

There are already 8,000 US troops in Afghanistan supporting the government, but earlier this year, their leader, Gen. John Nicholson, said he needed several thousand more to break the stalemate.

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the bombing had "nothing to do with the Mujahedeen of Islamic Emirate [Taliban]".

In addition, Afghanistan's intelligence agency blamed the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network for the attack.

"The timing of this cowardly attack during the holy month of Ramadan was deliberate and meant to target civilians and foreign service workers from some of our closest allies", the minister said in the statement.

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"These heinous acts go against the values of humanity as well values of peaceful Afghans", it added.

The attack is one of the most serious seen in the capital for several months and comes during the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

Trudeau noted the staff at the Canadian embassy "are safe and accounted for", adding that "Canadians will keep working alongside Afghans as they rebuild and recover".

"We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured".

The four reporters suffered from minor injuries.

"The US Embassy does not appear to have been the target of the blast", a spokesperson said, and referred questions on casualties to the Afghanistan government.

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Germany has had troops in Afghanistan for 15 years, primarily in the north in and around Mazar-e-Sharif. Forces supporting terrorism need to be defeated.

The force of the blast destroyed more than 50 vehicles.

"When we had more than 100,000 foreign soldiers, they were not even able to secure Helmand province" in southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban controls roughly 80 percent of the area, he said.

The blast, which shattered windows and blew doors off their hinges in houses hundreds of yards away, was unusually powerful, with some reports saying it was caused by explosives concealed in a water tanker.

Public health ministry spokesman Ismail Kawasi told the Associated Press that 350 people were injured in the bombing, which happened during rush hour in the center of Kabul.

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