April 30, 2017

Explosion and gunfire hit military hospital in Kabul

10 March 2017, 12:41 | Clarence Schmidt

Afghan policeman stand guard at site of blast and gunfire in Kabul Afghanistan

Afghan policeman stand guard at site of blast and gunfire in Kabul Afghanistan

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan has condemned today's terrorist attack on a military hospital in Kabul for which the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) claimed responsibility.

The Afghan Defense Ministry said in a statement the attack began when a suicide bomber blew up his explosives at the hospital's southern gate, while three other armed assailants, dressed as medical personnel, made their way inside.

A hospital doctor said that security forces clashed with the gunmen.

Afghanistan's warring parties, including government forces, have repeatedly targeted medical facilities, decimating the country's fragile health system and preventing conflict-displaced civilians from accessing life saving care.

In a series of tweets last month, Ghani said the fight against terrorism goes beyond just Afghanistan.

As families and friends mourn the loss of those killed in an attack on a military hospital in Kabul, Afghan officials launched an investigation on those responsible for the attack. "Without question, it amounts to an atrocity, and the perpetrators must be held accountable".

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A doctor who survived yesterday's attack on a military hospital in Kabul said on Thursday the hospital's electricity was disconnected moments before the assault, suspecting inside support. Another ISIS suicide bomber killed 22 in an attack on the Afghan Supreme Court in February.

Initial reports indicate attackers detonated an explosion before entering the hospital compound, he said, adding that Afghan National Police special forces are on the scene, trying to repel the ongoing attack.

Some survivors of the attack on the 400-Bed Sardar Daud Hospital Complex claim that the attackers were placed inside the facility before it happened.

Afghan forces have been under increasing pressure by the Taliban and also from Islamic State militants, mostly in the country's east. The militant group, Afghanistan's largest, is known to distance itself from attacks on medical facilities or those that result in high civilian casualties.

Especially intense fighting is expected between the government and the Taliban this spring as several recent attempts at negotiating peace between the two have failed.

Afghan security forces have struggled to combat both groups (the Taliban and ISIS) since the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat mission in December 2014, switching to an advisory and counter-terrorism role.

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