Over 30 killed as gunmen dressed as medics attack Afghan military hospital

  • Doctors, Nurses, staff killed inside hospital
  • Special forces soldiers engage ISIS fighters from helicopter
  • More than 30 dead, 50 injured, 66 wounded earlier

Terrorists disguised as doctors stormed a military hospital in Afghanistan on Wednesday and engaged security forces in shootout leaving more than 30 people dead wounding dozens in an attack the Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility.

Afghan policeman arrive at the site of a blast and gunfire in Kabul, Afghanistan March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

The gunmen had a suicide bomber who detonated a bomb at the rear of the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khah hospital, across the road from a highly secured U.S. embassy, while three others with automatic weapons and hand grenades invaded the complex, said security personnel.

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However, the spokesman for Defence Ministry, Dawlat Waziri said the attack was suppressed by mid-afternoon, with all three gunmen killed.

While As security forces stormed the hospital buildings another ministry spokesman said they found about 30 dead and 50 injured, from doctors, patients to hospital staff, including the three killed and 66 wounded earlier reported.

Officials present said the terrorist were disguised as medical personnel and positioned at the upper floors of the hospital before engaging special forces sent to the scene.

Afghan policeman arrive at the site of a blast and gunfire in Kabul, Afghanistan March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Security Personnel promptly blocked off the perimeter around the hospital close to a busy traffic intersection, before special forces soldiers descended on to the roof of the main building from helicopters.

Just as the special forces engaged the terrorist in gun-battle in the building for hours, a second explosion went off inside the hospital premises caused by a car.

The statement from Islamic State’s News Agency Amaq said its fighters carried attacks on the military hospital even as an Afghan Taliban spokesman denied responsibility, saying the Islamist insurgency had “no connection” with the attack on the facility.

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The hospital attack came following warnings by government officials that high-profile attacks in Kabul might erupt this year.

Afghan policeman arrive at the site of a blast and gunfire in Kabul, Afghanistan March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

As U.S. President Donald Trump is yet to make public his policy for Afghanistan, top U.S. commander has said more thousands of international troops are needed to maintain stability, amidst growing fears of Islamic State’s increasing attacks.

The plan which has been opposed both by the Western-backed government of Kabul and the Taliban, is based in the Middle East, however, it has strong presence on the border with Pakistan.

Several attacks on civilians in Kabul had in the past year occurred including several carried out on many prominent Shi’ite targets.

TERRORIST HID AK-47 RIFLE

The recent military hospital attacks that tends to wounded military casualties from around Afghanistan attracted wide condemnation and President Ashraf Ghani said it “trampled on all human values.”

Afghan policeman arrive at the site of a blast and gunfire in Kabul, Afghanistan March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

“In all religions, a hospital is regarded as an immune site and attacking it is attacking the whole of Afghanistan,” he said in impromptu remarks during a speech for International Women’s Day in Kabul.

While reacting, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission noted its readiness to support Afghan’s security service, with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan saying the attack on hospital staff and patients that where exempt in the conflict amounted to a war crime.

Eyewitnesses inside the hospital said they were caught unaware as a disguised gunman wearing a white doctor’s coat brought a hidden AK-47 assault rifle and opened fire, killing at least a patient and one hospital staff.

“Suddenly gunfire broke out and a gunman was shooting at everyone,” said Zahir Khan, who hid under a table and later escaped. “He was shooting at doctors, patients and visitors.”

Just as the shooting ensued inside the hospital patients were seen climbing out of the building as they taking cover on window ledges.

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The recent hospital attack was the latest just one week after scores of people were killed and wounded in coordinated attacks on a police station and Kabul’s intelligence office, in Kabul.

Afghan policeman arrive at the site of a blast and gunfire in Kabul, Afghanistan March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

The Taliban has claimed responsibility on the attacks whom are fighting to drive foreign troops, defeat the U.S.-backed government and re-instate Islamic law after they were driven out in 2001.

Apart from Kabul, scores of people have been killed over the past days in fighting across Afghanistan, from Kunduz and Baghlan in the north to Farah in the southwest and Helmand and Kandahar on the Pakistan border in the south.

 

Source: www.stingged.com/DCMA/Reuters

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