Taliban officials and a doctor said there were two explosions in Kabul on Tuesday, in which several people were injured in an attack on a military hospital.
The explosions were the latest in a series of attacks in the weeks following a two-decade-long insurgency against the US-backed government since the Taliban seized power in August.
The hardline Islamist group’s struggle to bring stability to Afghanistan has been crushed by a series of bloody attacks by the local chapter of the Islamic State group.
No group has yet claimed Tuesday’s attack.
“I am inside the hospital. I heard a huge explosion from the first checkpoint. We were asked to go to safe rooms. I also heard gunshots,” a doctor at Kabul’s Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan Hospital told AFP.
The doctor said, “I can still hear the gunshots inside the hospital building. I feel the attackers going from room to room… like the first attack happened.”
The hospital was first attacked in 2017, when gunmen disguised as medical personnel killed at least 30 people.
AFP journalists heard a second explosion in the city, as well as gunshots.
A Taliban media spokesman confirmed both the blasts.
“One explosion happened at the gate of the military hospital and another near the hospital, that’s our initial information, we’ll give more details later,” he told AFP.
Interior ministry spokesman Qari Saeed Khosti said Taliban special forces had arrived at the scene to secure the area.
“There have been casualties in the blast, details will be shared later,” he said.
Ambulance faster than Kabuli
An Italian NGO running a separate hospital in the capital tweeted that it had found nine injured patients at the blast site in the capital’s 10th police district.
Images shared on social media showed black smoke rising in the air after the explosions, the first of which occurred around 1:00 pm (0830 GMT).
Although both IS and the Taliban are radical Sunni Islamist terrorists, they differ on the specifics of religion and strategy.
IS has claimed four mass casualties since the Taliban took over.
AFP journalists saw Taliban fighters running in two armored personnel carriers (APCs) and pickup trucks.
Roads near the heavily fortified “Green Zone” where many former Western embassy buildings are located were closed to traffic and Taliban guards intensified search operations.
Sirens could be heard in the streets and ambulances could be seen speeding towards the blast site.
The Taliban, which are not yet recognized by any foreign power, are facing a number of challenges as they transition from a terrorist group to regime power, including a worsening humanitarian crisis and major economic disruption.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)