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Over 30 dead as IS militants dressed as doctors raid Kabul hospital

  • Published at 03:49 pm March 8th, 2017
  • Last updated at 06:50 pm March 8th, 2017
Over 30 dead as IS militants dressed as doctors raid Kabul hospital
Gunmen dressed as doctors stormed Afghanistan's largest military hospital Wednesday, killing more than 30 people in a six-hour attack claimed by the Islamic State group as it makes inroads into the war-battered country. Around 50 others were wounded in the assault on the Sardar Daud Khan hospital, with explosions and gunfire rattling Kabul's diplomatic district as dense clouds of smoke rose in the sky. Medical staff hunkered down in the hospital wards posted desperate messages for help on social media. Television footage showed some of them trapped on the ledge of a top-floor window. [caption id="attachment_51204" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Two Afghan men weep for their relatives in front of the main gate of a military hospital in Kabul on March 8, 2017, after a deadly six-hour attack claimed by the Islamic State group on March 8 AFP Two Afghan men weep for their relatives in front of the main gate of a military hospital in Kabul on March 8, 2017, after a deadly six-hour attack claimed by the Islamic State group on March 8 AFP [/caption] "Attackers are inside the hospital. Pray for us," a hospital staff member wrote on Facebook. Hospital administrators told AFP three gunmen wearing white laboratory coats began spraying bullets after a suicide bomber on foot blew himself up at the backdoor entrance, sparking chaos inside the 400-bed facility. "I saw one of the attackers, armed with an AK-47 and dressed as a doctor, shooting at patients and guards on the third floor," hospital nurse Abdul Qadeer told AFP. [caption id="attachment_51206" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Afghan security personnel stand guard in front of the main gate of a military hospital in Kabul on March 8, 2017, after a deadly six-hour attack claimed by the Islamic State group AFP Afghan security personnel stand guard in front of the main gate of a military hospital in Kabul on March 8, 2017, after a deadly six-hour attack claimed by the Islamic State group AFP[/caption] "They shot my friend but I managed to flee... I had to jump over the barbed wire to escape." At least two other loud explosions -- including what the defence ministry called a car bomb in the hospital's parking lot -- were heard as Afghan special forces launched a clearance operation that lasted around six hours. The attackers were gunned down after special forces landed on the roof of the hospital in a military helicopter. [caption id="attachment_51207" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Afghan security personnel stand guard in front of the main gate of a military hospital in Kabul on March 8, 2017, after a deadly six-hour attack claimed by the Islamic State group AFP Afghan security personnel stand guard in front of the main gate of a military hospital in Kabul on March 8, 2017, after a deadly six-hour attack claimed by the Islamic State group AFP [/caption] "More than 30 people were killed and around 50 wounded in today's attack," defence ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told AFP. "Most of the victims are patients, doctors and nurses." "The operation has ended. All the attackers have been killed. We are still assessing the damage," interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told AFP.