Dozens of people, including women, children and the elderly, have been killed in an unprecedented car bomb attack on an Afghanistan hospital.

The assault occurred in the country’s eastern Logar province – up to 60 people are believed to have died, some buried beneath rubble as the hospital itself was demolished in the blast. At least 53 other people were wounded.

While Afghan officials blamed the Taliban for the deadly attack, they deny culpability, citing they don’t target civilians.

Indeed, according to BBC, an Afghan intelligence source said the hospital might not have been the intended target because the bomber detonated the device as police tried to stop his vehicle.

Logar is a largely lawless region near the Pakistan border where many militant groups are based.

A local resident told Agence France Presse (AFP): I was at home, then I heard a big explosion. When I rushed to the site, I saw many dead and injured people. Many of them were burning, on fire. There were body parts everywhere.”

The man said he lost seven relatives in the inferno.

It was the worst assault on a medical facility since 2001 when the Taliban was ousted from Afghanistan. It raises fears that insurgents will carry out more atrocities, including political assassinations and suicide attacks, as western troops gradually withdraw from the country.

An official of the Logar provincial council told the BBC: ''It is no less than a doomsday. The government and its intelligence agencies should have been able to prevent this. To the enemies of the people and Islam, I say, what do you get from a bloodbath like this?