At least nine people have been taken to hospital in Kabul after they were injured in explosions near the entrance gate of a military hospital in Kabul’s Wazir Akbar Khan area, the non-governmental organization Emergency said on Tuesday.
The Taliban-controlled state news agency Bakhtar reported that a number of suspected Islamic State militants entered the hospital after the initial explosion and engaged with Taliban forces.
Initially, Taliban government deputy spokesperson Bilal Karimi told dpa that a blast struck near the gate of the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan military hospital.
Interior Ministry spokesperson Qari Saeed Khosty said that Taliban’s special forces have arrived at the site of the blast.
Pictures shared on social media show a plume of smoke in the sky.
Despite reports about a possible suicide attack, the Taliban officials said the nature of the incident is not yet clear. Investigations are under way.
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.
The Taliban took control of Kabul in mid-August, encountering minimal resistance. The 300,000 Afghan armed forces disbanded and the country’s president and other high-ranking officials fled.
Since then, the Islamists have formed their own Cabinet but the Islamic State extremists seem to be expanding their footprint.
Most recently, Islamic State claimed responsibility for at least two deadly attacks in Kunduz and Kandahar provinces, in which dozens died. They have also claimed numerous smaller attacks in other provinces, including Kabul.
In 2017, gunmen disguised as medical staff members attacked the same hospital, where armed forces members loyal to the former government were receiving treatment. The attack left at least 30 dead, with many others injured. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack at that time.