The apparent rivalry between the two Islamic terror groups, the Taliban and ISIS seem to cost Afghanistan a great deal of loss of lives and properties. After the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August, ISIS took responsibility for at least 4 mass casualty terror attacks in the country ever since. Another terror attack on Afghanistan's biggest military hospital on Tuesday, November 2 saw explosions and gunfire killing at least 19 and injuring a dozen other. Although no terror group has taken the responsibility yet, eyewitness accounts claim that ISIS was behind the attacks.
According to witnesses, ISIS militants, during the attack on the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital, went room to room shooting gunfire and clashing with the Taliban forces after a suicide bomber detonated near the entrance. A Taliban official later informed that all the assailants were killed in the counterattack. "All the attackers are dead. The attack was initiated by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle who blew himself up at the entrance of the hospital," the official noted.
A Taliban media spokesman stated two explosions hit the hospital. "One explosion has happened at the gate of the military hospital and a second somewhere near the hospital," the official told AFP. "Nineteen dead bodies and about 50 wounded people have been taken to hospitals in Kabul," a health ministry official told AFP.
Witnesses claim a number of Islamic State fighters entered the hospital
Local news outlet Bakhtar news agency quoted eyewitness accounts alleging a number of ISIS fighters entered the hospital and opened fire. "I am inside the hospital. I heard a big explosion coming from the first checkpoint. We were told to go to safe rooms. I also hear guns firing," a doctor at the hospital told AFP. "I can still hear gun firing inside the hospital building. I think the attackers are going from room to room... like the first time it was attacked," the doctor added.
The hospital was previously attacked in 2017 when gun-wielding militants disguised as medical personnel killed at least 30 people. During the 2017 attacks, militants went from room to room on a killing spree, switching over to knives when they ran out of ammunition.
Taliban vs ISIS
Although both, the Taliban and ISIS are Sunni Islamist terror groups, they hardly see eye to eye owing to grave differences over teachings of religion and strategy. The recent attack adds to a series of terror attacks in Afghanistan ever since the Taliban took over on August 15, weakening their claims of having restored safety in the country.