Published: Thu, March 09, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Gunmen Attack Military Hospital in Kabul

Gunmen Attack Military Hospital in Kabul

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani denounced the bloody attack as a coward terrorist act and vowed that Afghan government won't talk to terrorists, who are killing the innocent people of Afghanistan.

Unidentified gunmen attacked a military hospital near the United States Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday. Witnesses told Reuters that the attackers engaged security forces inside the building. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani Afghan policemen keep watch at the site of a blast and gunfire at a military hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan March 8, 2017.

"According to our knowledge, the terror organisation IS has claimed responsibility for this attack", a foreign ministry spokesman said in Berlin. The hospital has been a target of previous terror attacks.

Obaidullah Barekzai, a politician from southern Uruzgan province, said the attack by the Islamic State group and other similar assaults, especially in the capital, are very concerning.

A statement from ISIS' Amaq News Agency said its fighters had attacked the hospital.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said the attack on hospital staff and patients not involved in the conflict amounted to a war crime.

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The attack, started in the early hours of the day, when one of the attackers, blew himself up at the southern gate of the hospital which is near the U.S. embassy and three other attackers entered the compound. The use of Taliban tactics could also suggest the group's operational capacity and training is increasing - which could lead to even deadlier attacks.

As security forces swept the hospital buildings, another ministry spokesman said they found more than 30 dead and 50 wounded, including doctors, patients and hospital staff.

The carnage underscores rising insecurity in Afghanistan.

The country is bracing for an intense new Taliban fighting season in the spring as the government's repeated bids to launch peace negotiations have failed. "We stand ready to assist Afghan security services".

The US Embassy in Kabul said, "Targeting a medical facility providing care for the fearless Afghans working to protect their fellow citizens has no possible justification in any religion or creed".

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

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