Gunmen attack Kabul hospital where MSF aid group runs a clinic

Armed men attacked a hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul on Tuesday, where the international humanitarian organization Médecins sans frontières, also known by its French acronym MSF, operates a maternity hospital, officials said.

The Afghan Interior Ministry said at least eight people were killed in the attack on Dasht-e-Barchi hospital and several others injured.

The 100-bed government facility is supported by Médecins sans frontières, also known by its French name Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said Wahidullah Mayar, spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Taliban said they were not involved.

Security forces are working to counter the attack, a source from the interior ministry said. He added that the Deputy Minister of Health may have been visiting the clinic at the time of the attack.

Two other security sources said explosions were heard at the site.

MSF did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He says on his website that he runs a maternity hospital in one of the poorest areas of Kabul.

Nationwide violence

A series of bloody attacks have taken place in the capital in recent months, claimed by the Islamic State group.

Security forces announced on Monday that they had arrested three senior officials of the so-called Islamic State Group (IS), including a regional leader.

Security forces killed and arrested several members of an IS cell last week, which authorities said were responsible for several high-level attacks in Kabul, including one on a Sikh temple in March.

Road explosions in the capital on Monday, which injured four civilians, were claimed by the group.

Afghanistan is also facing violence in the country from the Taliban even as the United States attempts to launch peace talks after signing a troop withdrawal agreement in February with militants.

The Taliban say they refrain from attacking urban centers and that their operations target government security forces.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)