A British security official employed by G4S was among the five people killed in this morning’s Taliban suicide bomb attack on a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital, the Foreign Secretary confirmed today.
An Afghan national employed by the British embassy to drive the diplomatic 4×4 vehicle was also killed in the explosion, Philip Hammond added, going on to say that he condemns ‘this appalling attack on innocent civilians supporting our diplomatic activity’.
It is understood that the remaining three victims include three members of a family who were heading to nearby Jalalabad for a wedding.A sixth body recovered from the scene is believed to belong to the suicide bomber himself, who was travelling in a red Toyota Corolla car packed with explosives.
The explosion left 33 other people injured – many of them civilians who had been going about their business along the busy stretch of road running from Kabul to the city of Jalalabad, which lies 95 miles to the east of the Afghan capital.
Taliban insurgents later released a brief statement claiming responsibility for the attack, saying the group had ‘targeted foreign invading forces’.
This evening a second massive blast followed by exchanges of gunfire rocked Kabul’s central Wazir Akbar Khan district, which houses a large number of embassies and foreign compounds.As yet there are no reports of any fatalities in the second attack but the situation remains fluid.
Murdered: Investigators begin searching through the wreckage of the British embassy’s 4×4 vehicle that was struck by the suicide bomb blast
Scene of devastation:The suicide bomber is believed to have been travelling in this red Toyota Corolla, which was packed with explosives
Aftermath: A British citizen was among the five people killed in this morning’s Taliban suicide bomb attack on a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital, the country’s Interior Ministry said today
Victims: A pool of blood is seen on the road following this morning’s suicide bomb blast in eastern Kabul.The attack left at least five people dead and wounded more than 30 others, including four children
Destroyed: Eyewitness Mustafa Deveci told MailOnline that several of the dead were travelling to a wedding in this vehicle.A relative of the victims was later told by the roadside that her relatives had been killed
Gathering evidence: Investigators begin searching through the wreckage of vehicles caught up in the suicide bomb blast
Blasted: A young Afghan boy walks past the charred remains of a car engine that sits alongside the main road between Kabul and Jalalabad
The dead British national, whose name has not yet been released, has been confirmed as an expatriate employee of private security firm G4S.
A G4S spokesman said in a statement: ‘At 10:20am local time this morning in Kabul, a suicide-vehicle-borne improvised explosive device was detonated targeting a British Embassy vehicle moving through the city.’
‘A local member of the Embassy staff and an expatriate G4S security team member were both killed in the explosion. A second British member of the G4S security team was injured.An investigation into the incident is underway and therefore we are unable to comment further at this time’.
‘Next of kin have been informed and we will continue to provide them with support.Our thoughts and most heartfelt condolences are with the families, friends and colleagues of those involved in this tragic incident.’
Afghan Public Health Ministry spokesman Kanishka Bektash Turkistani that at least four children were among the 33 people injured by the massive suicide bomb blast, which he described as ‘an inhuman act by the enemies of peace and stability in Afghanistan.’
Eyewitness Mustafa Deveci told MailOnline: ‘The explosion happened at around 10am.I saw five or six civilian cars blown up on the road, I couldn’t tell which ones belonged to the British embassy.’
‘I saw the damage of the smoking cars. The explosion happened on a very busy road.It’s the main road going from Kabul to Jalalabad.It’s always full of people.’
‘All the seriously injured people had already been taken to hospital when I got there, but I saw a guy sitting at the roadside with minor injuries. A woman ran up to him and asked if her relatives were all right, he told her they’d been killed.She just broke down and started crying and cursing.’
‘She was pointing at the car in the picture I tweeted. The rest of her relatives were travelling in it. I heard they were going to a wedding in Jalalabad.’
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While some cars in the area around the bomb site were damaged by the explosion, others were caught up in the subsequent pile-up
Afghan security forces inspect the remains of the British embassy 4×4 vehicle which was the target of this morning’s deadly attack
Taking control: Afghan security forces inspect the site of this morning’s suicide bomb attack in eastern Kabul
Carnage: A damaged civilian car is pictured at the scene of this morning’s suicide bomb attack
Debris: The attack shook parts of Kabul and sent a huge plume of dust and smoke into the air
Communications: A survivor of this morning’s suicide bomb attack uses a radio at the scene along the Kabul-Jalalabad road in Kabul
Investigators arrive at the scene of the deadly blast and begin inspecting badly damaged vehicles to establish exactly what took place
In a statement released this afternoon, Mr Hammond said: ‘I am deeply saddened to confirm that a British national civilian security team member and an Afghan national working for the Embassy were killed in the incident. A second British member of the security team was injured.’
‘I condemn this appalling attack on innocent civilians supporting our diplomatic activity.The families of the victims have been informed and my thoughts are with them. The Foreign Office will do everything it can to support them,’ he added.
‘This outrage brings home to us once again the courage and perseverance of the people of Afghanistan and members of the international community who support them, who have lived together through decades of conflict.’
‘We will not allow such inhumanity to deter us from continuing our partnership with the Government of Afghanistan. I have nothing but admiration for the staff of the Embassy, British and Afghan, who work at great personal risk to help build a better future for Afghanistan,’ he went on to say.
Grief: A woman bursts into tears as she looks for her relatives at the site of a suicide attack in eastern Kabul this morning
A crowd on onlookers gather close to the bomb site to watch as wreckage is removed from the scene and investigations get under way
Afghan security officials inspect a vehicle that was left badly damaged following the huge suicide bomb blast
This morning Prime Minister David Cameron said that he condemns today’s attack, adding that it would be up to the Foreign Office to decide whether to heighten security at the British embassy
It is the latest in a wave of attacks to hit Kabul as the majority of foreign combat troops withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year
The attack took place in the east of the city, shaking parts of Kabul and sending a huge plume of dust and smoke into the air.
The interior ministry initially reported the blast was caused by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle, but later said attacker was travelling by car.
The Taliban subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack in a brief statement, saying it had deliberately ‘targeted foreign invading forces’.
The area of the blast in eastern Kabul has many foreign compounds and international military installations.The particular stretch or road through which the car was driving is considered one of the most dangerous in the world, with four suicide bomb attacks there in the last two weeks alone.
It is the latest in a wave of attacks to hit Kabul as the majority of foreign combat troops withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year.
In recent weeks, insurgents have launched attacks on military convoys and compounds housing foreign service companies and their international employees.
This morning Prime Minister David Cameron said that he condemns today’s attack, adding that it would be up to the Foreign Office to decide whether to heighten security at the British embassy.
Obliterated: A suicide bomber driving in a second car detonated the explosive device as he drove alongside a British diplomatic vehicle today
Afghan pedestrians walk past a pool of blood at the site of the suicide bomb attack that left five people dead
A young Afghan boy roots through the remains of a destroyed vehicle for salvageable parts.Eyewitness Mustafa Deveci told MailOnline: ‘Even living in Kabul, you never get used to such atrocities. These kids belong to poor families, and try to sell these parts to get a dollar or two.’
Busy: ağrı escort Shortly after the bomb blast a section of the road was reopened at Afghan civilians continued to go about their business
Taliban insurgents later released a brief statement claiming responsibility for the attack, saying the group had ‘targeted foreign invading forces’
The twisted wreckage of the vehicle believed to have been carrying the suicide bomber is seen in the middle of the Kabul road
A recovery worker uses a hosepipe to wash blood and petrol off the main road between Kabul and Jalalabad following the suicide attack
In recent weeks, insurgents have launched attacks on military convoys in the area and on compounds housing foreign service companies and their international employees.
Kabul has come under almost daily attack as insurgents intensify their war on local security forces and U.S.and NATO troops, who are set to officially conclude their combat role in the country at the end of next month.
On Tuesday two explosions shook the Afghan capital, leaving seven army officers wounded.
A remote-controlled bomb exploded in Kabul’s outskirts as a bus carrying Afghan army personnel passed by, said Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the Afghan defence ministry.
A later blast shook houses in the Wazir Akbar Khan area of the city, which is home to embassies, international media offices and aid groups, but there were no casualties, police said.
A day earlier, a magnetic bomb killed two U.S.troops in the Afghan capital.
Blast site: Intelligence personnel arrive at the site of the suicide attack on the Kabul-Jalalabad road today
A British security official escorts a survivor from the wreckage of a British embassy vehicle after this morning’s suicide bomb attack
A survivor of the massive suicide bomb attack is led away from the blast site by a British security official
Victim: A shoe belonging to a man killed in the attack is pictured at the scene along the Kabul-Jalalabad road
Afghan residents look on from the window of their house, close to the scene of this morning’s suicide attack
British embassies and staff have been targeted in trouble-spots around the world in recent years, with Kabul among them.
In August 2008 a car bomb attack near the embassy in the Afghan capital left four people dead, although none were British personnel.
In November 2011 the embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran was closed after it was stormed by a mob of protesters.
In April 2010 the then British ambassador to Yemen, Tim Torlet, escaped unharmed when a suicide bomber wearing a school uniform detonated an explosives belt as he made his way to work in the capital Sana’a.The following October, his deputy, Fionna Gibb, escaped a rocket attack in the city.
Pain: A young Afghan boy receives treatment at a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul this morning.Many of those injured were civilians who had been walking and driving along the busy road between Kabul and Jalalabad at the time of the explosion
Covered in blood: An Afghan man receives treatment for a head injury at a hospital in Kabul following the suicide bomb blast
Wounded: The attack took place in the east of the city, shaking parts of Kabul and sending a huge plume of dust and smoke into the air
Leg injury: A young Afghan boy has an injury to his foot treated by a doctor at a hospital in central Kabul this morning
Last year the embassy in the Arab country was closed by the Foreign Office during the Islamic festival Eid, amid ‘continuing security concerns’.
On November 2003 the British Consul-General in Turkey, Roger Short, was killed by a suicide car bomb in Istanbul blamed on al Qaida which left 60 others dead and hundreds injured.
This morning Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, the European Union’s special representative in Kabul, wrote on Twitter: ‘Strongly condemn this morning’s indiscriminate attack in Kabul that left many Afghans dead and injured UK colleagues.’