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Afghanistan Arrests 24 Over Deadly Kabul Hospital Attack


Security forces guard the area as smoke billows from the Sardar Daud Khan's Hospital, also known as Kabul Military Hospital, during an attack by suspected militants in Kabul on March 8.

An Afghan official says authorities have arrested 24 people, including an army general, on charges of neglecting their duties over a recent attack on the country's largest military hospital.

General Helaludin Helal, the deputy defense minister, spoke on March 15, revealing the findings of a preliminary investigation into the March 8 attack on the Sardar Mohammad Khan hospital in Kabul.

The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, in which gunman dressed as health workers shot doctors, patients, and visitors at the 400-bed hospital.

Helal said the 24 people arrested were under investigation for dereliction of duty in failing to prevent the attack.

But he denied that "insiders" were involved in the assault.

Afghan and Western media reports have quoted survivors and security sources as saying interns working at the hospital helped carry out the attack.

The same sources have claimed that the death toll of the attack was around 100.

Helal raised the Defense Ministry's death toll in the attack from 30 to 50. The Health Ministry said last week that 49 people were killed.

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