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At least 103 people killed in Taliban suicide bombing in Kabul

Mourners carry the coffin of a relative who died in Saturday's deadly suicide attack in Kabul Picture by Rahmat Gul/AP

Afghanistan's interior minister has said at least 103 people were killed in a suicide bombing carried out by the Taliban in Kabul on Saturday, updating an earlier toll.

Wais Ahmad Barmak said on Sunday that another 235 people were wounded in the attack.

Mr Barmak said police were among those killed and wounded.

The attacker drove an ambulance filled with explosives and was able to race through a security checkpoint by saying he was transferring a patient to a hospital.

The explosion damaged or destroyed dozens of shops and vehicles.

The Taliban have claimed the attack.

"The majority of the dead in the attack are civilians, but of course we have military casualties as well," Mr Rahimi said.

He said four suspects have been arrested and are being questioned.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the organisation was behind the bombing, which sent thick, black smoke into the sky from the site near the government's former interior ministry building. The European Union and Indian consulates are also nearby.

The powerful explosion was felt throughout the capital and covered the blast area in smoke and dust. At the scene, dozens of vehicles were damaged or destroyed. Several shops, including some selling antiques and photography equipment, were also destroyed.

The International Committee of the Red Cross condemned the attack in a tweet, saying: "The use of an ambulance in today's attack in £Kabul is harrowing. This could amount to perfidy under IHL. Unacceptable and unjustifiable."

It was the second successful Taliban attack in a week on high security targets in the city.

On Saturday January 20, six Taliban militants attacked the Intercontinental Hotel, leaving 22 people dead, including 14 foreigners.

Around 150 guests fled the subsequent gun battle and fire by using bedsheets to climb down from the upper floors. The US state department said multiple American citizens were killed and injured in the attack.

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