Afghanistan’s Taliban say militants linked to a regional affiliate of Islamic State, known as Islamic State-Khorasan Province, carried out Tuesday’s assault on the country’s main military hospital in Kabul.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the raid on the capital’s Sardar Mohammad Dawood Khan hospital in Wazir Akbar Khan area had killed at least seven people and wounded five others. Among the dead were a child, three women and three Taliban security guards, he added.
Witnesses and security guards reported the attack began with a powerful explosion at the entrance to the 400-bed hospital before a second bomb exploded inside the sprawling facility.
Mujahid said five assailants then tried to storm the main building apparently to target doctors and patients but Taliban special forces swiftly engaged them and thwarted the attempt.
The ensuing gunfight lasted “15-minutes and killed all Daesh militants,” Mujahid said, using a local name for IS-Khorasan. “No one was hurt inside the hospital.”
The terrorist group did not immediately respond to accusations that it was behind the attack.
IS-Khorasan has intensified attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country in mid-August. The violence has mainly targeted Taliban fighters and members of the minority Shi’ite community, killing and injuring hundreds of people.
Islamic State militants stormed the military hospital in 2017 and killed more than two dozen people. The Taliban also had targeted the facility while waging a deadly insurgency against the Western-backed Afghan government and U.S.-led foreign troops.