Deadly attack on a military hospital in Kabul

Taliban special forces approaching by helicopter Taliban special forces approaching by helicopter Andre Klimke on Unsplash

2 November 2021

Blasts and gunfire leave 19 dead and dozens injured

On Tuesday, 2 November, two explosions detonated near the entrance of the 400-bed Sardar Daud Khan military hospital, followed immediately by heavy gunfire. According to the Taliban officials’ report, there are at least 19 dead and dozens injured. An official on condition of anonymity said 'the attack was initiated by a suicide bomber who blew himself up at the entrance of the hospital'. The Deputy Minister of Information and Culture in the Taliban government, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that Taliban special forces dropped by helicopter prevented the attackers from entering the hospital by killing them in the building's courtyard in 15 minutes. The Islamic State in Khorasan Province ISKP (ISIS-K), already known for a series of attacks against civilians and Taliban fighters, claimed the attack in a statement released on its Telegram channels. The Sardar Daud Khan military hospital had already been targeted by the Islamic State group in 2017. That year, gunmen dressed as doctors stormed the building, killing 30 people and injuring 50 others according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

Since the US withdrew the last troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban took control in August, this attack is the latest to hit the country. Concerns are growing about the country becoming a haven for militant groups. The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a tweet that "attacks targeting medical personnel and civilians seeking treatment are violations of human rights and international humanitarian law” and those responsible need to be held to account”. Concerns are compounded by the economic crisis, which threatens millions of people with poverty as winter approaches. UN humanitarian aid deliveries continue, including through the World Food Programme (WFP). The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said it had begun airlifting aid to Kabul. Spokesperson Shabia Mantoo said that "further relief supplies have also been prepositioned in Termez, Uzbekistan, ready to be trucked into Afghanistan as needed”.


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Author: Eleonora Lombardi; Editor: Jasmina Saric

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