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Gunmen storm hospital in Kabul

12 May 2020 Al Jazeera

Gunmen have stormed a hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, setting off a gun battle with government forces, officials said.

Afghan forces carried out newborn babies and their mothers as they evacuated the hospital, where the medical charity Doctors Without Borders runs a maternity clinic.

"Our special forces are in the area," Marwa Amini, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry, told AFP news agency on Tuesday.

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There was no immediate information about any casualties in the attack on the government-run Dasht-e-Barchi Hospital.

A paediatrician who fled the hospital told AFP he heard a loud explosion at the entrance of the building.

"The hospital was full of patients and doctors; there was total panic inside," he told AFP, asking not to be named.

Security forces were working to counter the attack and the deputy health minister may have been visiting the clinic at the time, an interior ministry source told Reuters.

A series of deady attacks

The 100-bed government-run facility is supported by Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French name Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said Wahidullah Mayar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health.

A series of deadly attacks has taken place in the capital in recent months claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

On Monday, security forces said they had arrested three senior ISIL members including a regional leader.

Last week, security forces killed and arrested several members of an ISIL cell that authorities said was responsible for several high-profile attacks in Kabul including one on a Sikh temple in March.

Roadside blasts in the capital on Monday, which wounded four civilians, were claimed by the group.

Afghanistan is also facing violence around the country from the Taliban even as the United States tries to usher in peace talks after signing a troop withdrawal agreement in February with the armed group.

Smokes rises from a hospital after gunmen attacked in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Gunmen stormed the hospital in the western part of the Afghan capital on Tuesday, setting off a gun battle with the police, officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Smokes rises from the hospital stormed by gunmen in the Afghan capital, Kabul [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]

Original Link: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/afghanistan-gunmen-storm-kabul-hospital-200512071439807.html

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