More than a dozen people, including two newborns, were killed after three militants attacked a government hospital in Kabul on Tuesday morning. No terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The militants were killed by security forces following a gun battle which ended in the afternoon.
The Dasht-e-Barchi is a government-run 100-bed hospital in Kabul. The Ministry of Interior stated that the attack left 14 dead and 15 others wounded. Hospital nurses were also among those killed in the attack. In a tweet, Doctors Without Borders stated that the staff and patients were being evacuated.
Militants entered the hospital wearing police uniform
According to reports, the attack on the hospital,which houses a maternity clinic being run by Doctors Without Borders, was launched by three gunmen who were reportedly dressed in police uniform. The unidentified attackers went on a shooting spree and hurled grenades upon entering the hospital, Reuters reported.
Quoting government officials, the New York Post reported that 100 people, including three foreign nationals, were rescued during the attack by security officials.
Residents heard two blasts followed by gunfire in the attack which started at about 10:00 local time (05:30 GMT). Ramazan Ali, a witness, told Reuters: "The attackers were shooting at anyone in this hospital without any reason. It's a government hospital, and a lot of people bring in their women and children for treatment."
Speaking to RFE/RL, Jawad Amiri, a witness, said one of the attackers "was wearing a military uniform and the other two were dressed as doctors. They came to the main entrance and opened fire at people everywhere around. They killed many innocent people."
Taliban denies role
Soon after the attack, images of a blood-stained hospital complex and dead bodies lying in the hospital emerged on social media. The hospital is in an area housing the Hazara community, a Shia Muslim minority, which is often attacked by Sunni militants from ISIS jihadis, Reuters reported.
According to the BBC, the Taliban, who signed a peace deal with the US more than two months ago, has denied any involvement in the attack.
Condemning the attack, Amnesty International tweeted: "The unconscionable war crimes in Afghanistan today, targeting a maternity hospital and a funeral, must awaken the world to the horrors civilians continue to face. There must be accountability for these grave crimes."
Stating that the motive behind attacking the hospital was unclear, Interior Ministry spokesman Tareq Arian said it was an "act against humanity and a war crime".
In yet another attack, which remains unclaimed by any terror group, a suicide bomber killed 24 people and injured 68 after setting off an explosive device during a funeral procession of Shaikh Akram, a pro-government militia commander and former warlord, in Nangarhar province.