A suicide auto bomb attack in the Afghan capital Kabul has left at least 70 people wounded, an official from the Interior Ministry has said.
The Jamuriate hospital, the nearest to the scene, was overwhelmed, with many people lying in corridors waiting to be treated. Kabul police headquarters is also located here in the vicinity of the blast.
Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said the bomber used the ambulance to pass through one checkpoint, saying he was taking a patient to a nearby hospital.
The terror attack has so far killed 63 people and left over 150 others injured.
"It is a massacre", Dejan Panic, the coordinator in Afghanistan for the Italian aid group Emergency.
The bomber drove an ambulance packed with explosives in a crowded area near the city's old interior ministry building just before 1pm local time, officials said. "The building shook. All our windows broke. The people are in shock in our market", he told AFP.
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Witnesses said they saw a plume of smoke rising in the sky after the blast. "I heard a big bang and I fainted", he said, outside the Emergency hospital.
"I strongly condemn the suicide vehicle bomb attack in the Afghan Capital".
Last Saturday, six Taliban militants attacked the Intercontinental Hotel, leaving 22 people dead, including 14 foreigners. "There were pools of blood".
Mirwais Yasini, a member of parliament who was nearby during the explosion, said ambulance approached a checkpoint close the High Peace Council's office, and blew up, Reuters reported.
"It targeted our checkpoint".
Earlier today, a security alert was issued to foreigners warning that the Islamic State, which has terrorised the city in recent months, was planning "to conduct aggressive attacks" on supermarkets, shops and hotels frequented by foreigners.