Dozens killed and injured in explosions and shots at a Kabul hospital

FILE PHOTO: Taliban members in charge of security patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 28, 2021. Photo taken on October 28, 2021. REUTERS / Jorge Silva

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KABUL, Nov 2 (Reuters) – At least 25 people were killed and more than 50 injured in an attack on Afghanistan’s largest military hospital on Tuesday, which saw two heavy explosions followed by an assault by gunmen on the site, in downtown Kabul, according to authorities.

The explosions occurred at the entrance to the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital and were immediately followed by the assault by a group of armed men, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi said.

Four of the attackers were killed by Taliban security forces and a fifth was captured, he said.

The blasts add to a growing list of attacks and killings since the Taliban completed their victory over the Western-backed government in August, undermining their claim to have restored security to Afghanistan after decades of war.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the operation is similar to the complex attacks organized by the Islamic State. It follows a series of attacks by the group, which has emerged as the biggest threat to Taliban control of Afghanistan.

A Taliban security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that at least 25 people had died and more than 50 were injured in the assault. However, there was no officially confirmed death toll.

Photographs shared by residents showed a plume of smoke over the blast area, near the former diplomatic zone in the Wazir Akbar Khan area of ​​the city, and witnesses said at least two helicopters were flying over the area as it occurred. the assault.

(Additional reporting from Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar, Islamabad staff; James Mackenzie staff; Andrew Heavens and Nick Macfie edit; translated by Aida Peláez at Gdansk staff)

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