In Hospital Attack, ISIS Masqueraded as Doctors

At least 38 dead in ISIS attack in Kabul: reports
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2017 12:52 PM CST
Updated Mar 8, 2017 12:57 PM CST
In Latest Attack, ISIS Militants Posed as Doctors
Helicopters fly over a military hospital after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday.   (AP Photos/Massoud Hossaini)

Islamic State militants donned doctor uniforms before forcing their way into a hospital not far from the US Embassy in Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 38 people and leaving more than 50 injured, report NBC News and the Guardian. The BBC reports the attack began with an explosion at a gate to the 400-bed military hospital around 9am local time. At least three militants dressed as doctors are said to have then entered the building with guns and grenades. One staff member reported seeing a gunman "wearing a white coat holding a Kalashnikov and opening fire on everyone, including the guards, patients and doctors" as people inside fled to window ledges.

The attackers then gathered on the upper floors and engaged security forces in "heavy fighting," per the Guardian. Six hours after the first explosion, a rep for Afghanistan's interior ministry reported all attackers had been killed after authorities were able to land on the roof. ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, the first in which militants engaged directly with Afghan forces in Kabul, which suggests they "now have the resources and the military training to expand their attacks," per the BBC. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says the attack "trampled all human values," noting attacking a hospital is like "attacking the whole of Afghanistan." (ISIS has recently shifted targets.)

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