KABUL: At least 16 women and children were martyred and 16 other civilians were wounded in a suicide attack that took place at the entrance of hospital where Médecins Sans Frontières doctors were busy with their duties, followed by heavy exchange of gunfire.
Afghan security forces rushed to the scene and cordoned off the area. The 50-bed hospital is located in Dasht-e-Barchi area, west of Kabul, where eye witnesses reported at least 2 explosions followed by gunfire. Afghan media reports suggested that there was a guest house behind the hospital where foreigners were staying, and which could be the prime target of the attackers who were trying to get inside the guest house through the hospital.
Afghan media reports suggested that some doctors and health workers managed to leave the hospital after the first explosion, while others were stuck in the facility as the gunfire raged.
Local sources claimed that a senior official from Afghan Health Ministry was present inside the hospital when the attack took place. Hours later, Afghan Home Ministry released pictures, saying some 80 patients with new born babies were evacuated from hospital.
Meanwhile, Afghan Taliban rejected any involvement in a gunmen attack on a hospital partly run by MSF.