An attack on a military hospital in Afghanistan has killed more than 30 people, the country’s Defence Ministry has said.
An affiliate of the so-called ‘ Islamic State’ group claimed responsibility for today’s attack on the hospital in Kabul’s heavily guarded diplomatic quarter, which set off clashes that lasted for several hours.
Gen Dawlat Waziri, a Defence Ministry spokesman, says there were “more than 30 killed and more than 50 wounded” in the attack.
He says security forces have taken full control of the facility and that the fighting is over.
The ministry said the attackers were dressed like health workers.
Gen Waziri said a suicide bomber had detonated his payload and another attacker was shot dead, and that one member of the security forces was killed and three wounded.
Afghan helicopters circled over the area, which was surrounded by security forces.
Abdul Qadir, a hospital worker who witnessed the attack, said an attacker in a white coat shot at him and his colleagues.
Ghulam Azrat, another survivor, said he escaped through a fourth floor window after attackers killed two of his friends.
IS claimed the attack in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency.
An affiliate of the extremist group has carried out a number of attacks in Afghanistan in recent years, and has clashed with the more powerful and well-established Taliban, who carried out a complex attack in Kabul last week.
Afghan security forces have struggled to combat both groups since the US and Nato formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014, switching to an advisory and counter-terrorism role.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack during an address in honour of International Women’s Day, calling it “an attack on all Afghan people and all Afghan women”.