Dozens injured and 19 dead in the attack in hospital of Kabul: Report
"Nineteen dead bodies and about 50 wounded people have been taken to hospitals in Kabul," the official, who asked not to be named, told AFP.
An attack on a military hospital in Kabul on Tuesday left at least 19 people dead and 50 more injured, the latest strike in Afghanistan since the Taliban took power.
According to the Taliban and a witness, two blasts occurred outside the site's entrance, followed by reports of shooting inside the hospital.
"Nineteen dead bodies and about 50 wounded people have been taken to hospitals in Kabul," a health ministry official who asked not to be named told AFP. The Taliban waged a 20-year insurgency against the US-backed government that was deposed.
They now confront the challenge of restoring stability to Afghanistan, which has been battered by a series of violent attacks by the Islamic State's local affiliate in recent weeks.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack on Tuesday.
"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 Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital in Kabul 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, which serves wounded Taliban and former Afghan security forces soldiers, was previously targeted in 2017, when gunmen posing as medical workers killed at least 30 people over the course of an hour-long siege.
Two explosions damaged the hospital area on Tuesday, according to a Taliban media spokesman.
"One explosion has happened at the gate of the military hospital and a second somewhere near the hospital, this is our initial information, we will provide more details later," he told AFP.
Taliban special forces raced to the location after "a bomb" burst, according to Qari Saeed Khosty, a spokesman for the interior ministry.
A second explosion was reported by AFP journalists, followed by gunfire.
Ambulances speed by in Kabul.
Despite the fact that both IS and the Taliban are hardcore Sunni Islamist terrorists, they have diverged on religious and strategic matters.
Since the Taliban took power on August 15, IS has claimed four mass fatality assaults, including suicide bombings targeting Shiite Muslim mosques. It considers Shia Muslims to be heretics.
Militants went room to room killing people in the 2017 raid on the military hospital, switching to knives when they ran out of ammunition.
The Islamic State claimed credit for the attack, although the Taliban rejected it.
Survivors told AFP that the assailants screamed "Long live Taliban" in Pashto and targeted all but two of the hospital's first-floor wards, which housed Taliban patients.
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