Freeland offers condolences on Afghan bombing

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is condemning a massive suicide explosion in Kabul that killed 90 and wounded hundreds of people inside the city’s so-called diplomatic zone.

The truck bomb caused serious damage in the diplomatic quarter of the Afghan capital, including to the first floor of the Canadian embassy.

Freeland says all embassy employees are safe.

The area is home to most of the foreign embassies in the city, as well as several major government institutions, including the presidential palace.

Freeland is praising Canadian diplomats and staff for their courage and resolve in the face of what she calls a cowardly attack.

She says Afghanistan can continue to rely on Canadian support.

“Our thoughts are with the front-line workers who are responding to the traumatic scene and we grieve with the families affected,” she said in a statement.

“The timing of this cowardly attack during the holy month of Ramadan was deliberate and intended to target civilians and foreign service workers from some of our closest allies.”

She said Canada will continue to work with allies to “prevent violent extremism and to bring perpetrators of such violence to justice.”

The bomb exploded during the morning rush hour in one of the worst attacks since the drawdown of foreign forces from Afghanistan in 2014.

Most of the casualties were civilians, including women and children, the Afghan government said.

Nine Afghan security guards at the American embassy were among the dead.

The Canadian Press

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