The Afghan capital, Kabul, on Wednesday suffered one of the worst attacks since the fall of the Taliban government in 2001. An estimated 90 people died, and hundreds more were wounded. A suicide bomber drove a truck, crammed full of explosives, to the edge of the diplomatic quarter, where it was detonated.

For the wounded survivors, and for the families of the dead, the future is now uncertain. “The [Afghan] state cannot look after vulnerable families,” says Waheed Massoud, editor of the BBC’s Afghan Service.

Among the slain were Mohammed Nazir, a driver for the BBC, and Aziz Navin, a 22-year-old IT engineer with an Afghan TV network, TOLOnews.

Navin is not the first TOLOnews employee to die in the war. The Taliban killed seven of the network's staff in an attack last year.

"We've been a target," admits TOLOnews director Lotfullah Najafizada. "We've received threats. But that's the reality. You want to move the country forward. It's part of the package. You accept the risks."

Najafizada says there is a logic behind the latest attack, carried out in a water tanker or sewage truck on Wednesday in Kabul.

"It's to generate fear, intimidation, chaos and to say that Afghanistan is not a safe place and is not going in the right direction, and this government is weak and so are its foreign supporters including the US," he explains.

But Najafizada predicts that eventually, Afghans will be determined to bring an end to their country's long war. 

"It's going to take more lives, more resources, more patience. But are we committed?" he asks. "I think so."

The BBC’s Nazir was driving colleagues to the office when the bomb exploded. Nazir died. Four BBC colleagues were wounded but their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

Massoud, the BBC's Afghan Service editor, says Nazir was “a great person. A very warm personality. Very kind. Hardworking.”

“I cannot believe that the same person who drove colleagues to work this morning is going to be buried by the end of the very same day,” says Massoud. "I can't believe he's gone."

Mohammed Nazir is pictured.

BBC Afghan Service

Nazir had survived numerous difficult and dangerous incidents in his life, and, in particular, in the course of his work. Massoud points out the tragic irony that he should end up dying in one of the most secure parts of the country.

Nazir, who was in his late 30s, leaves behind a widow and four children.

“Mohammed [Nazir] was the only breadwinner of his family,” Massoud says, “in a country that doesn’t have a proper welfare system.”

“His children are very young, going to school,” he says. “His wife, like many women in Afghanistan, does not work.” There are very few opportunities for women to work outside of the home in Afghanistan.

Massoud says that the BBC feels a responsibility to help Nazir's family financially, since he worked for the organization.

"But also, we need to remember that Mohammed was not the only victim of this incident. There are 80 other Mohammeds killed today, whose families not only lost their loved one but also their whole life is changed as of today," says Massoud, who also wrote about the devastating event for the BBC.

Many others who were wounded, some critically, may now find financial hardship. “Life becomes difficult for them,” he says. “And at times, there have been incidents where people who’ve been wounded and cannot work anymore, they have even resorted to begging.”

The fate of the Afghan families who have lost their breadwinner, through death or injury, “really depends on how well-connected they are,” Massoud says.

“In Afghanistan, because there is a communal society, and [because of] the lack of government support and social support, families tend to help each other as much as they can.”

“But,” he cautions, “that also depends on whether extended family members can [help] if they have the time and the money to look after each other.”

Families without income, without connections, or family help, can be quickly reduced to absolute poverty.

From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI