More than 38 people were killed in an attack on a military hospital in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, the Defense Ministry said. It is reported that more than 50 people were wounded.
Hospital administrators told AFP three gunmen wearing white laboratory coats began spraying bullets after a suicide bomber on foot blew himself up at the backdoor entrance, sparking chaos inside the 400-bed facility.
“Most of the victims are patients, doctors and nurses,” ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told AFP, adding that four attackers were also killed.
Gunmen dressed as doctors stormed the military hospital, officials said, in a six-hour attack claimed by the militant IS group as it makes inroads into the war-battered country.
The Daesh terrorist group has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on a military hospital in the Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul.
The more powerful Taliban said they were not behind the attack. The militant group, Afghanistan’s largest, is known to distance itself from attacks on medical facilities or those that result in high civilian casualties.
The assault comes just a week after 16 people were killed in simultaneous Taliban suicide assaults on two security compounds in Kabul.
Afghanistan is in a state of political and social turmoil, with government forces fighting the continuing Taliban insurgency. The instability has persisted in the country since the 2001 US-led invasion to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
The lack of control and instability turned the country into home to the largest opium poppy production and distribution network in the world.
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.
“This is a criminal act. Nothing can justify an attack on hospitals,” Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said of the latest attack.