Afghan military rejects insiders aided hospital attack

2017-03-15 13:13
An injured man receives treatment after the attack at a military hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Rahmat Gul, AP)

An injured man receives treatment after the attack at a military hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Rahmat Gul, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kabul - Afghanistan's defence ministry on Wednesday shrugged off allegations that insiders were involved in a catastrophic insurgent attack on the country's largest military hospital, as it faces scathing public criticism over the assault.

Gunmen disguised as doctors stormed Sardar Daud Khan Hospital in Kabul last Wednesday, with multiple surviving staff telling AFP that insiders, including two interns, were among the attackers.

The carnage inside the heavily guarded hospital points at a spectacular intelligence failure and spotlights how insurgents have managed to infiltrate top government and military institutions in Afghanistan.

"We have no evidence it was an insider job," Deputy Defence Minister Helaludin Helal, head of a government investigation team, told reporters.

"The attackers entered the hospital using a Corolla car. One blew himself up and four others entered the building."

He said 24 hospital and military officials accused of "negligence of duty" are being prosecuted.

Helal said 50 people were killed by five attackers. But security sources and the survivors, some of whom counted dead bodies, previously told AFP that the death toll exceeded 100.

Bracing for intense fighting season

The Afghan security leadership has come under bitter criticism from lawmakers and social media users over the attack.

MPs are calling for the impeachment of Afghanistan's defence and interior ministers and the intelligence chief, as the country braces for an intense fighting season in the spring.

Public anger has grown over the episode, with speculation swirling on social media that such a brazen attack on the tightly guarded hospital could not have happened without the complicity of high-ranking officials.

The savagery of the assault was characterised by how the assailants stabbed bed-ridden patients, threw grenades into crowded wards and shot people from point-blank range.

The Islamic State group claimed it was behind the attack via its propaganda agency Amaq - hours after the Taliban denied responsibility.

But the survivors AFP spoke to said the attackers chanted "Long live Taliban" in Pashto and attacked all but two wards on the hospital's first floor where Taliban patients were admitted.

Read more on:    taliban  |  isis  |  afghanistan

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.