Multiple explosions near military hospital in Kabul as gunfire heard across Afghan capital

At least two explosions, one particularly powerful, have been reported in the Afghan capital Kabul near a military hospital in the center of the city. Witnesses claim the explosions were followed by bursts of gunfire.

On Tuesday, multiple blasts were heard across Kabul from the Wazir Akbar Khan area of the city, near the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan military hospital. Photos shared online appear to show dense smoke rising above the city.

According to Afghanistan’s TOLOnews, Bilal Karimi, the deputy spokesperson of the Islamic Emirate, confirmed that two explosions occurred in Kabul city’s district 10. Karimi added that both blasts had occurred near the hospital.

Interior Ministry spokesman Qari Saeed Khosty tweeted that there had been explosions at the hospital entrance, and that “special forces of the Islamic Emirate have been deployed to the area.” He added that information concerning casualties would be shared later.

Footage shared online by correspondent Soraya Lennie appears to show black smoke emanating from the far side of the city. She claimed that the second explosion was much bigger than the first.

Lennie said that “heavy” and “sporadic” gunfire had broken out about for around 10 minutes following the first explosion at around 12.45 local time (8:15am GMT). She noted that the blast occurred near the country’s largest military hospital, which has some 400 beds.

State media agency Bakhtar News, citing witnesses, said Islamic State fighters had entered the hospital and clashed with security forces. 

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Terrorist groups affiliated with Islamic State have carried out a number of bombings since the Taliban’s capture of Kabul in August, often targeting mosques and causing a vast number of casualties. Islamic State attacked the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan military hospital in 2017, killing more than 30 people.

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