9 local guards dead, 11 Americans wounded in Kabul

He said the station's creative director, Sohail Sediqi - who Hashimy said was known in the office for his fear of such attacks - had gone down to the blast site to try to get footage on air right after the bomb went off, despite an injury to his forehead. Dozens of mangled and upturned cars choked the roads as wounded survivors and panicked schoolgirls scrambled to safety. But the attack underscores spiralling insecurity in Afghanistan, where a military beset by soaring casualties and desertions is struggling to beat back the insurgents. Over a third of the country is outside government control. "They are still bringing bodies and wounded people to hospitals", senior health ministry spokesman Ismael Kawoosi told AFP. The office of the president's statement on the attack called on Muslim states "to ramp up pressure on those supporting terrorist outfits so that terrorism should not be used as an instrument against other countries".

A spokesman for the Taliban denied it was behind the attack.

Afghanistan has seen a rise in violent attacks this year, as the Taliban push to overthrow the US-backed government and reimpose Islamic law 16 years after they were removed from power following the 9/11 attacks.

The so-called Islamic State in Afghanistan has also been active, saying it was behind a suicide bomb attack this month on a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation convoy that was passing the U.S. embassy in Kabul. Most victims appear to be civilians.

Germany's foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said that along with the Afghan guard who was killed, a German diplomat was lightly wounded while an Afghan employee sustained severe injuries.

The BBC has confirmed that driver Mohammed Nazir, who had worked with the broadcaster for four years and had a young family, died in the blast. Local TV channel Tolo TV also tweeted that its staff member Aziz Navin was killed.

The bomber drove into Kabul's heavily guarded diplomatic quarter during the morning rush hour, leaving behind a bloody scene of chaos and destruction in one of the worst attacks since the drawdown of foreign forces from Afghanistan in 2014.

The blast, close to the city's diplomatic enclave and the Presidential Palace, was so intense that it shook the ground and shattered glass in various parts of the city.

A statement from the Ministry of Interior Affairs said it condemned "in the strongest terms the terrorist attack" that killed so many, including women and children. They stressed that those responsible for these killings should be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under worldwide law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Afghanistan and all other relevant authorities in this regard. The European nation has drawn criticism for sending back Afghans to an increasingly unsafe country. The United States now has more than 8,000 troops in Afghanistan, training local forces and conducting counterterrorism operations.

Afghan troops are backed by U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces, and the Pentagon has reportedly asked the White House to send thousands more troops to the country to break the deadlocked fight against the Taliban.

USA troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 now, and there are another 5,000 from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

August 22, 2015- A suicide bomber attacks a convoy in Kabul, killing four USA contractors.

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