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Patients, doctors and nurses among dozens killed in Kabul hospital attack

Patients, doctors and nurses among dozens killed in Kabul hospital attack
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By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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Gunmen dressed as doctors have attacked a military hospital in an area close to the US embassy in Kabul. They are fighting with security forces inside the building in the Afghan capital.

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Gunmen dressed as doctors have attacked a military hospital in an area close to the US embassy in Kabul.

They fought security forces inside the building for several hours.

Afghan defence officials say at least 30 people have been killed, including patients, doctors and nurses,

The attack began when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the rear of the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital.

Three gunmen, armed with hand grenades, then entered the hospital, which treats military casualties from around Afghanistan.

#UPDATE An explosion and gunfire rattle Kabul's diplomatic district as insurgents attack a military hospital https://t.co/EUBBdm4tFe

— AFP news agency (@AFP) 8 mars 2017

Are there any casualties?

Daud Waziri, spokesman for the Afghan defence ministry, told AFP: “Unfortunately, more than 30 people were killed and 50 injured in the attack today, mainly patients, doctors and nurses, as well as the four attackers.”

What eyewitnesses say

Hospital workers said a number of gunman were inside the building during the attack.

One told reporters he saw a gunman, dressed in a white doctor’s coat, take out a concealed AK-47 and open fire. At least one patient and health worker died, the eyewitness said.

Media reports quote a doctor as saying a blast was detonated at the hospital, after which gunmen opened fire.

#Kabul – Footage shows security forces at hospital attack scene. #Afghanistanpic.twitter.com/w5SohGfFUq

— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) 8 mars 2017

Has the attack been claimed by anyone?

A statement from Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency said its fighters had attacked the hospital, while a Taliban spokesman denied responsibility, saying the movement had “no connection” with the attack.

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