Several people have been killed and dozens injured Tuesday in a suicide bomb attack followed by a shooting at a Kabul military hospital. Hours after the start of the attack, Taliban forces have killed the assailants and regained control of the health center.
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“Unfortunately, we have 25 dead in today’s attack against a military hospital,” a member of the Taliban told EFE, who requested anonymity, and who has placed the balance of wounded at at least 40. However, according to the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has said there are seven dead.
According to the spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Qari Sayed Khosty, there was an initial explosion in front of the entrance to the Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan military hospital, located in the center of the Afghan capital and with a capacity of about 400 beds. Another explosion struck minutes later and then a shootout began.
A witness, who requested anonymity, told Efe from the hospital that “the attackers used firearms and hand grenades to fight the Taliban, but the attack has ended and we no longer hear shots or explosions.” Videos recorded from outside the hospital show people leaving the compound thanks to a ladder placed in one of the walls.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for this attack, although looks are pointing to one of the great enemies of the Taliban, the Islamic State. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for attacks in at least eight of the 34 Afghan provinces since the Taliban seized power on August 15. “Our initial information suggests that the attack was carried out by Islamic State fighters,” said the Taliban source.
Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan Hospital is Kabul’s main military hospital and is located just a few meters from the US Embassy and the Afghan Ministry of Health.
This center suffered in March 2017 an attack claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State that caused more than thirty deaths and dozens of injuries, after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the hospital. The suicide bomber then opened the way for three other insurgents who stormed the compound and fired “indiscriminately” until the last of them was killed by Afghan troops six and a half hours after the start of the attack.
The largest attack by the jihadist group in recent months, with about 170 deaths, took place on August 26 at the Kabul airport, when thousands of Afghans desperately tried to flee the country on one of the repatriation flights.
In addition, another Islamic State suicide attack on a Shiite mosque left at least 80 dead and about 100 injured in Kunduz on October 8. Another similar attack a week later in southern Kandahar left another 60 dead.
Analysts and experts have pointed out that the jihadist group has become the greatest threat to the security of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, being behind almost daily attacks against fundamentalists.