Attack set off clashes with security forces

KABUL — Gunmen wearing white lab coats stormed a military hospital in Afghanistan’s capital on Wednesday, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

The attack on the 400-bed military facility, located near two civilian hospitals in Kabul’s heavily-guarded diplomatic quarter, set off clashes with security forces that lasted several hours.

The brazen assault reflected the capability of militant groups in Afghanistan to stage large-scale and complex attacks in the heart of Kabul, underscoring the challenges the government continues to face to improve security for ordinary Afghans.

Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a Defence Ministry spokesman, said there were “more than 30 killed and more than 50 wounded” in the attack. Afghan forces battled the attackers floor by floor, he added. The ministry said the attackers were dressed like health workers.

According to Waziri, four gunmen were involved, including two suicide bombers who detonated their explosives vests once the group was inside the hospital.

The two other attackers were shot dead by security forces, the spokesman said. A member of the security forces was killed in the shootout and three other security officers were wounded. Along with the suicide vests, the attackers also had AK-47 rifles and hand grenades, Waziri said.

Obaidullah Barekzai, a lawmaker from southern Uruzgan province, said Wednesday’s attack by the Islamic State group and other similar assaults, especially in the capital, are very concerning.

“This is not the first attack by the Islamic States group, they have carried out several bloody attacks in Kabul,” he said.

The assault lasted for several hours, with Afghan helicopters circling over the hospital building, troops rappelling onto rooftops and security forces going floor-by-floor in a gunbattle with the attackers. By mid-afternoon, the attack was over and a clean-up operation was underway.

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 the last two years, and has clashed with the more powerful and well-established Taliban, who carried out another complex attack in Kabul last week.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deerians can have a say about crime fighting

Municipality will poll citizens about policing priorities

Updated: Red Deer man sentenced to six years for stabbing death

Shane Dion McPhee pleaded guilty to manslaughter for February 2016 slaying

Watch: Pandas on the move

Artist Patrick LaMontagne shows his work in this time lapse video

Watch: Pandas on the move

Artist Patrick LaMontagne shows his work in this time lapse video

Rebels Fan Fest set for Wednesday

Time to cheer on the Rebels; Tickets on sale for WHL playoffs

Uber self-driving vehicle hits, kills pedestrian in Arizona; Company stops tests

TEMPE, Ariz. — Uber says it has suspended all of its self-driving… Continue reading

Tories want debate on 12-month mission to support UN mission in Mali

OTTAWA — Canada’s official Opposition wants a full parliamentary debate on the… Continue reading

Brand of lean ground beef recalled due to possible presence of E. coli

OTTAWA — A brand of lean ground beef is being recalled because… Continue reading

Police chief: 4th bombing shows ‘different level of skill’

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ capital city was rocked by the fourth bombing… Continue reading

Lacombe Skating Club presents Broadway on Ice

The Lacombe Figure Skating Club hosted its year-end carnival with a Broadway… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month