Gunmen disguised as medics stormed a military hospital in Kabul early Wednesday, launching an hours-long attack that left 30 dead in Afghanistan’s capital.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack on Sardar Daud Khan hospital, which injured more than 50, a government official told Reuters.
The attack began on the hospital around 9 a.m. local time, when a suicide bomber blew open the hospital gate, the Washington Post reported. Over the next seven hours, gunmen worked through the hospital floor by floor, opening fire on hospital staff as well as patients.
Afghan security forces were dropped onto the roof from helicopters, Reuters reported, and also surrounded the entrance of the hospital, located near a key military base.
By 4 p.m. locally, all four gunmen were killed by security forces, Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs, said in a tweet..
“Targeting a medical facility providing care for the brave Afghans working to protect their fellow citizens has no possible justification in any religion or creed,” the U.S. embassy in Kabul said in a statement.
The attack comes a week after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a series of attacks across the city, including at a police facility, that wounded at least 35 people, Reuters reported. There were also several attacks on the city in February, including an ISIS attack on the Supreme Court that left 20 dead, according to CNN.
ERICA R. HENDRY