30 Killed in Kabul Attack

Afghan security forces surround Kabul’s Sardar Daud Khan Hospital on March 8.Afghan security forces surround Kabul’s Sardar Daud Khan Hospital on March 8.

Gunmen dressed as doctors stormed Afghanistan’s largest military hospital on Wednesday, killing more than 30 people in a six-hour attack claimed by the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, as it makes inroads into the war-battered country.

Around 50 others were wounded in the assault on the Sardar Daud Khan Hospital, with explosions and gunfire rattling Kabul’s diplomatic district as dense clouds of smoke rose in the sky, AFP reported.

Medical staff hunkered down in the hospital wards posted desperate messages for help on social media. Television footage showed some of them trapped on the ledge of a top-floor window.

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.

“I saw one of the attackers, armed with an AK-47 and dressed as a doctor, shooting at patients and guards on the third floor,” hospital nurse Abdul Qadeer told AFP.

At least two other loud explosions, including what the defense ministry called a car bomb in the hospital’s parking lot, were heard as Afghan special forces launched a clearance operation that lasted around six hours.

The attackers were gunned down after Afghan Special Forces landed on the roof of the hospital in a military helicopter.

“More than 30 people were killed and around 50 wounded in today’s attack,” defense ministry spokesman, Dawlat Waziri, told AFP. “Most of the victims are patients, doctors and nurses.”

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints