Afghanistan: Gunmen storm Kabul maternity hospital 1

Afghanistan: Gunmen storm Kabul maternity hospital

Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of the attack [AFP]
Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of the attack [AFP]

Afghan forces have evacuated dozens and ended the siege at a maternity hospital in Kabul, killing the three gunmen behind the deadly attack on the government-run hospital in the capital, the interior ministry spokesman said.

At least four people were killed in the morning assault on the Barchi Hospital, the interior ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Security forces had earlier cordoned off the area as they evacuated more than 80 women and babies from the hospital, where medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) runs a maternity clinic.

epa08416063 An Afghan woman is brought to Emergency hospital for medical treatment after she was injured during an attack at an MSF (Doctors without Borders) clinic in Kabul, Afghanistan, 12 May 2020.
An Afghan woman brought to Emergency hospital after she was injured during the attack at the MSF clinic [Jawad Jalali/EPA]
An Afghan woman brought to Emergency hospital after she was injured during the attack at the MSF clinic [Jawad Jalali/EPA]

At least three attackers wearing police uniforms entered the hospital located in the Dashti Barchi neighbourhood of Kabul, throwing grenades and shooting, government officials said.

A paediatrician who fled the hospital told AFP he heard a loud explosion at the entrance of the building in Dashti Barchi, a mostly Shia neighbourhood that has seen past attacks by the ISIL (ISIS) armed group.

“The hospital was full of patients and doctors; there was total panic inside,” he told AFP, asking not to be named.

The 100-bed government-run facility is supported by MSF, said Wahidullah Mayar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health.

A series of deadly attacks

There have been a number of deadly attacks in the capital in recent months, claimed by the ISIL group.

On Monday, security forces said they had arrested three senior ISIL members including a regional leader.

Last week, security forces killed and arrested several members of an ISIL cell that authorities said was responsible for several high-profile attacks in Kabul including one on a Sikh temple in March.

Roadside blasts in the capital on Monday, which wounded four civilians, were claimed by the group.

Afghanistan is also dealing with violence by the Taliban around the country even as the United States tries to usher in peace talks after signing a troop withdrawal agreement in February with the armed group.

Smokes rises from a hospital after gunmen attacked in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Gunmen stormed the hospital in the western part of the Afghan capital on Tuesday, setting off a gun bat
Smoke rises from the hospital stormed by gunmen in the Afghan capital, Kabul [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]
Smoke rises from the hospital stormed by gunmen in the Afghan capital, Kabul [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]

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