A huge explosion has hit the Afghan capital, Kabul, injuring many in an area close to foreign embassies and the presidential palace.

Afghan officials say at least 60 were injured but expect that figure to rise.

Early reports say the blast was caused by a car bomb in central Zanbaq Square and that properties hundreds of metres away were damaged by its force.

Images circulating on social media show a large cloud of black smoke billowing over the city.

BBC Persian’s Harun Nazafijada in Kabul describes a chaotic scene with multiple injuries and people being transferred to hospital. He says the central blast area has been cordoned off by police.

Our correspondent adds that burnt-out cars in the area are one indication of the blast’s force. Images of shattered glass carpeting a large area of the square are also being shared widely on social media.

The precise target of the attack remains unclear, although it hit Kabul’s diplomatic and government district.

A policeman shows our correspondent a piece of shrapnel from the blast
Image captionA policeman shows our correspondent a piece of shrapnel from the blast

There have been sporadic deadly attacks on Kabul in recent months, all of which have highlighted the worsening security situation across Afghanistan.

Earlier this month at least eight civilians were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a Nato convoy as it was passing the US embassy.

The so-called Islamic State in Afghanistan said they were behind that attack, but no group has said it carried out the latest explosion.

Source: http://www.bbc.com

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