A Taliban truck bomb killed at least 20 people and wounded 95 others when it exploded near a hospital in southern Afghanistan, an official said.
The Taliban, who have been carrying out nearly daily attacks since peace talks with the United States collapsed earlier this month, said the target was a nearby government intelligence department building in Qalat, the capital of Zabul province.
A senior defence ministry official in Kabul said the militants wanted to target a training base for the country’s powerful security agency National Directorate of Security, but parked the explosives-laden vehicle outside a hospital gate nearby.
Haji Atta Jan Haqbayan, a member of the provincial council in Qalat, said 20 bodies and 95 wounded had been evacuated from the blast site.
“The number of casualties may rise as rescue teams and people are still searching the bodies under the rubble,” he said.
Several women, children, health workers and patients in the hospital were critically injured the blast.
The number of people, killed on Thursday by the car bomb explosion in the southern Afghan city of Qalat-e Gilzay, has risen to seven, with 85 more having been injured, Governor of the Zabul province Ramatullah Yarmal said, APA reports citing Sputnik.
Previously, a local source reported three people killed and 45 more injured.
Earlier in the day, local residents and officials said that the blast had damaged the Zabul Provincial Hospital, which is located near the NDS regional office.
Zabul's Deputy Governor Malim Tawab said that the injured people had been delivered to private hospitals and could be transferred to the city of Kandahar, if needed.
Taliban group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.