Kabul, Nov 2 (EFE).- At least 25 people were killed and an unspecified number wounded on Tuesday in a suicide attack with explosives on a military hospital in Kabul, according to official sources.
Interior Ministry spokesperson Qari Sayed Khoty told EFE an initial explosion occurred around midday in front of the entrance of the Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan military hospital, located in the center of the Afghan capital, with a capacity for some 400 beds.
“Unfortunately we have 25 people martyred in today’s attack on the military hospital,” a government official told EFE on the condition of anonymity.
“Our initial information suggests the attack was carried out by Daesh (Islamic State or IS) fighters,” he added.
The Defense Ministry released a statement saying the attack was perpetrated by “a group of suicide bombers of the enemies of the Afghan people” at the Dawood Khan hospital, which was foiled due to the “swift reaction” of the Taliban forces.
A police officer, who asked not to be named, told EFE that “at least six attackers” were involved in the attack, of which four were killed and two were captured.
“Although we are still gathering the final information about the casualties, among those martyred and injured are civilians and members of the security forces,” he added.
At least 40 people were reportedly injured while the attack was still ongoing.
An eyewitness from the hospital, requesting anonymity, told EFE that “the attackers used firearms and hand grenades to fight the Taliban, but the attack has ended and we no longer hear gunshots or explosions.”
A doctor working at the hospital told EFE on the condition of anonymity that the fighting lasted for several hours and most of the health personnel were now safe.
However, Taliban spokesperson Bilal Karim said in a statement that five IS attackers were killed while trying to enter the hospital, and the situation was brought under control in “15 minutes.”
“No one was hurt inside the hospital, but outside the hospital three women, one child and three Mujahidins (Taliban fighters) were martyred and five others injured,” he said.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan Hospital is the main military hospital in Kabul and is only a few meters from the US Embassy and the Afghan Ministry of Health.
The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for attacks in at least eight of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces since the Taliban seized power on Aug.15.
The deadliest attack by the extremist group in recent months occurred on Aug.26 at Kabul airport, resulting in some 170 deaths, when thousands of Afghans were desperately trying to flee the country after the Taliban takeover.
On Oct.8, a suicide attack by the IS on a minority Shia mosque left at least 80 dead and about 100 wounded in Kunduz, while another similar attack a week later in southern Kandahar left another 60 dead.
According to analysts, the IS has emerged as the biggest security threat to the Taliban government in Afghanistan, carrying out regular attacks against the new government. EFE