Suspected militants have attacked the diplomatic district in the Afghan capital of Kabul, entering the country’s largest military hospital near the US Embassy there.
Gunmen attacked the Sardar Daud Khan Hospital near the US Embassy in Kabul on Wednesday. Disguised as medical personnel, they detonated explosives at the back of the hospital before entering it.
Security forces have surrounded the hospital, where the assailants are said to have taken positions on the third and fourth floors.
“Our forces are there and there is heavy fighting,” said Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri.
Two hours into the raid, the Afghan Health Ministry could confirm the death of at least two people. It said 12 others were wounded.
The medical staffers trapped in the hospital have been posting desperate messages for help on social media.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, but Taliban militants are highly suspected. Every year in the run-up to and during the spring, they step up assaults on Afghan and foreign targets as part of a special offensive.
Last week, 16 people were killed in simultaneous Taliban attacks on two security compounds in Kabul.
Especially intense fighting is expected between the government and the Taliban this spring as several recent attempts at negotiating peace between the two have failed.
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