(UPDATES AT BOTTOM OF POST)

Reports are racing in about a huge explosion that took place in Kabul, Afghanistan Wednesday morning (local time), near the green zone and just a few hundred meters from the U.S. embassy, as well as several other embassies.

Several reporters were on scene in their local bureaus when the explosion rocked the city.

Reuters reports plumes of black smoke filled the air above the green zone and the Presidential Palace. As many as 60 people have already been reported injured in the blast, which took place about 45 minutes ago at the time of this writing.

Here are some of the early photos from the area. (See updates for more)

Earlier this month, a car bomb killed 8 people also near the U.S. Embassy. This story may be updated as information comes in.

UPDATE: Reports of fatalities are coming in, no estimate on the number.

UPDATE: Just wow, this update from journalist Sarah Carter. Just wow.

UPDATE 3: The blast was caused (again) by a suicide bomber.
From the AP:

Najib Danish, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said at least 50 people were killed or wounded in the suicide car bombing Wednesday.

UPDATE 4: The latest casualty report (2:11 a.m ET).

UPDATE 5: Wow the death toll is climbing. (2:45 a.m.) Just terrible.

UPDATE 6:

UPDATE 7: The casualty toll has now risen to 80 dead, 350 injured in the devastating suicide car bomb attack. Also, more details via the New York Times.

  • The attack was one of the deadliest in the Afghan war, and the toll was expected to rise.
  • The explosion could be heard throughout the central city. Windows were shattered a mile away.
  • The German Embassy was extensively damaged, and an Afghan security guard working there was killed.

IN the below tweet, the destroyed building to the left is the German embassy.