Police bus bombing kills 35 in Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan – A bomb ripped through a police bus in a crowded civilian area in the Afghan capital on Sunday, killing more than 35 people and wounding at least 35 others, officials and witnesses said.An Interior Ministry official said more than 35 people were killed in the attack. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing ministry policy.

Fazel Rahim, from a nearby hospital, said 18 dead bodies lay in the hospital courtyard, while more than 35 wounded were being treated inside the building.

This is a breaking news update. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Afghanistan (AP) — A bomb ripped through a police bus in a crowded civilian area in Kabul on Sunday, killing at least 18 people and wounding more than 35 others, an official and witnesses said.

The police academy bus was carrying several police recruits when the bomb went off inside it, leaving several dead, said Zalmai Khan, the deputy police chief of Kabul province.

The thunderous explosion was heard throughout central Kabul at about 8:10 a.m. local time.

Ali Shah Paktiawal, Kabul police director of criminal investigation, said initial reports indicated that dozens of policemen were feared dead.

Fazel Rahim, a doctor at a nearby hospital, said 18 dead bodies lay in the hospital courtyard, while more than 35 wounded were being treated inside the building.

“Most of the wounded are in serious condition,” said Rahim, whose hands and white coat were covered in blood.

The roof of the bus was blown off and officers were pulling a number of bodies from the wreckage, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene.

The explosion twisted the bus into a charred skeleton, and bloody unidentifiable body parts littered the area as far as 30 yards from the bus. Hundreds of police and investigators were inspecting the scene.

Wali Mohammad, an eyewitness who was driving his car just behind the bus, said “there were a lot killed and wounded, both police and civilian.”

Mohammad said that he “saw a big fire and dust in front of me.”

The blast happened at a crowded bus station, used by both police and civilians, near the Kabul governor’s house.

Police and other Afghan security officials are commonly targeted by insurgents because they are seen as tools of the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

At least 307 Afghan security officials have been killed in violence so far this year, according to an AP tally of figures from the U.S., U.N., NATO and Afghan authorities.

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