At least 15 people were killed and 34 wounded when two explosions, followed by gunfire, hit Afghanistan’s biggest military hospital in the capital, Kabul on Tuesday, 2 November.
The explosions took place at the entrance of the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital in the city center and security forces have been sent to the area, the interior ministry spokesman Qari Saeed Khosty said.
There was no confirmation of casualty numbers but a Taliban security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there were at least 15 dead and 34 wounded.
The Italian aid group Emergency, which runs a trauma hospital 3km from the site of the blast, said nine wounded had been brought in so far.
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility. The blasts add to a growing list of attacks and killings since the Taliban completed their victory over the previous Western-backed government in August, undermining their claim to have restored security to Afghanistan after decades of war.
A health worker at the hospital, who managed to escape, said he heard a large explosion followed by a couple of minutes of gunfire. About 10 minutes later, there was a second, larger explosion, he said.
Islamic State, which has carried out a series of attacks on mosques and other targets since the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul in August, mounted a complex attack on the hospital in 2017, killing more than 30 people.
The group’s attacks have caused mounting worries outside Afghanistan about the potential for the country to become a haven for militant groups, as it was when an al-Qaida group attacked the US in 2001.
The situation has been worsened by a spiraling economic crisis that has threatened millions with poverty as winter approaches.
The abrupt withdrawal of international support following the Taliban victory has brought Afghanistan’s fragile economy to the brink of collapse just as a severe drought has threatened millions with hunger