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Islamic State Claims Attack On Kabul Hospital That Killed At Least 19

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Taliban fighters wait as they come to check on injured comrades at the entrance of the military hospital in Kabul on November 2.

At least 19 people were killed and dozens more wounded in a gun and bomb assault on a military hospital in the Afghan capital, the latest deadly attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group since the Taliban seized power in August.

Attackers targeted Afghanistan's biggest military hospital, starting with a pair of explosions while several rounds of gunfire erupted outside the facility, officials and witnesses said on November 2.

Local media reported four of the six attackers were killed in the violence, with the other two arrested.

Some news agency reports put the number of dead at 25. It was unclear whether any of the figures included the attackers.

The IS group claimed responsibility for the attack, its Amaq news agency said on an affiliated Telegram channel.

An affiliate of the group, Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-K), has carried out a series of attacks on mosques and other targets across the war-torn country since the Taliban overthrew the internationally backed government in mid-August, claiming to have restored security and order. In 2017, IS-K attacked the same hospital, killing more than 30 people.

Photographs shared by residents showed a plume of smoke over the area of the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan military hospital.

"I was about 2 meters away from the hospital gate when suddenly there was a loud explosion. We were hit by a wave. A few minutes later, our heads and faces were stained with blood and pieces of flesh. When we entered the hospital, the situation was very bad. The Taliban guards of the hospital were firing into the air,” Dr. Shabir Ahmadi from the neighboring Indira Gandhi Children's Hospital told Radio Azadi by phone after witnessing the explosions.

A doctor at the military hospital told AFP that he heard a "big explosion" coming from the first checkpoint outside the hospital, with officials then immediately moving people to "safe rooms" as gunfire broke out.

This story also includes reporting by Radio Azadi correspondents in Afghanistan. Their names are being withheld for their protection.
With reporting by Reuters, dpa, and AFP
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