Investigation into ISIL claim of Kabul hospital attack

March 9, 2017

As Afghans grieve and funerals are under way, officials assess ISIL claim of hospital assault that killed more than 40.

Afghans are mourning as funerals are under way after the deadly attack on a Kabul hospital [EPA]
As families and friends mourn the loss of those killed in an attack on a military hospital in Kabul, Afghan officials launched an investigation on those responsible for the assault.

Gunmen dressed in white lab coats stormed the Sardar Daud Khan hospital in the centre of the capital on Wednesday, firing shots, detonating explosives and then battling security forces for hours. The assault resulted in the deaths of more than 40 people.

The Afghan interior ministry and the defence ministry on Thursday announced a probe into a claim by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) armed group that it was behind the attack. 

“We are assessing Daesh claims to yesterday’s attack, but at this stage we can’t make a prejudgment prior to conclusion of investigation,” Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesperson of the Afghan ministry of interior said in a tweet, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL, also known as ISIS.

“Brutal terrorist groups like ISIS (ISIL), Taliban, Haqqani and many other regional terrorist networks with safe havens in Pakistan have been behind many horrific attacks in the past,” he added.

The Afghan Taliban, which attacked the Sardar Daud Khan hospital in 2013 killing six people, denied responsibility for Wednesday’s assault.

According to US military officials, ISIL has about 700 fighters in Afghanistan. The group has previously claimed responsibility for a number of attacks that resulted in a large number of casualties, including a twin suicide bombing at a protest march in Kabul last year that left at least 80 people dead.