Doctors Without Borders Hospital Targeted in Afganistan

Three gunmen in Afghan National Police (ANP) uniforms stormed the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in western Kabul on May 12, 2020, leaving at least thirteen dead, including two children. Fifteen others are reportedly wounded. The shooting comes hours after an explosion rocked the funeral an ANP officer in eastern Afghanistan and killed dozens. According to a statement by the Taliban's spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, the group is not responsible for either of the incidents.

Afghan National Army Commandos, the Afghan Government's equivalent to US Army Rangers, secured the hospital after killing all three attackers. A report from Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior indicated at least 100 people have been cleared and evacuated from the hospital's premises thus far.

On May 11, Afghan security force released a statement that they had arrested three senior member of the Islamic State in Afghanistan (IS). The Dasht-e-Barchi hospital happens to be located in a prominently Hazara community, a Shiite Muslim minority that has been frequently targeted by the Islamic State. Thus, it wouldn't be that much of a stretch saying today's attack is in response to yesterday's raid.

Ross Wilson, the US Charge d'Affairs to Afghanistan, condemned the attack as "barbaric" on twitter. The Department of States has also reportedly offered military, non-lethal, and diplomatic support to the Afghan government if it so requires it.

UPDATE (5/12/20 - 1621 GMT)

President Ashraf Ghani has ordered Afghan Security Forces to commence offensive operations against the Taliban, while at the same time calling for the Taliban to embrace peace. In an address to the nation, he blamed both the Islamic State and Taliban for the terrorist incident. Interestingly, however, the President offered no direct evidence specifically pointing to the Taliban.

Sadly, with Ghani's order, the peace process led by Washington may now be dead in the water.

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The views expressed by this service are solely its own and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Army, Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or United States government.