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Explosions and gunfire at Kabul military hospital in deadly attack

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  • The Afghan capital Kabul has been rocked by two explosions and gunfire at the site of a military hospital.

A Taliban spokesman said the first blast happened in front of the 400-bed Sardar Daud Khan hospital and the second was nearby.

The spokesman said there had been casualties but did not give numbers. An eyewitness told the BBC there was fighting inside the hospital grounds.

At least 15 people have been killed and more wounded, unconfirmed reports say.

Photographs and video footage from Kabul showed a plume of smoke over the area and recorded the sounds of gunfire.

Smoke rises near the military hospital

No-one immediately claimed responsibility for the blasts, but Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi told the BBC fighters from the Islamic State affiliate IS-K entered the compound after detonating the first explosion at the entrance gate.

Mr Karimi said Taliban fighters shot and killed four IS-K attackers and captured one alive.

A doctor in the building told the AFP news agency he had been sent to seek shelter in a safe room.

“I can still hear gun firing inside the hospital building. I think the attackers are going from room to room,” he said.

Map

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in August, as the US withdrew its final troops after 20 years of conflict. A local affiliate of the Islamic State group known as Islamic State Khorasan, or IS-K, has since launched sporadic attacks targeting civilians and Taliban fighters.

A bombing by the group at Kabul international airport in August killed more than 150 civilians and 13 US soldiers.

The Sardar Daud Khan hospital has been targeted before. More than 30 people were killed and 50 others wounded in 2017 when gunmen dressed as doctors stormed the building. That attack was also claimed by the Islamic State group.

(Source: BBC)

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