Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack
Issued on: Modified:
A guard at a children's hospital in the Afghan capital of Kabul opened fire on the staff on Thursday morning, killing three American doctors and wounding two others, according to officials.
Kabul District Police Chief Hafiz Khan told the AP that the guard suddenly started shooting in CURE Hospital, which is run by a US charity, in the west of the capital.
“Five doctors had entered the compound of the hospital and were walking towards the building when the guard opened fire on them,” health ministry spokesman Kanishka Bektash Torkystani said. “Three foreign doctors were killed and two other doctors were wounded.”
The US embassy in Kabul confirmed the deceased were American citizens.
Torkystani said the attacker, who was a member of the Afghan Police Protection Force and who had been assigned to guard the hospital, had been wounded and was in custody. At midday, he was in surgery under heavy police guard in the same medical facility where he had launched the attack.
According to Afghan police officials, the attacker was a member of the Afghan Police Protection Force assigned to guard the hospital. A BBC journalist in Afghanistan reported that the assailant hailed from the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.
Local police said they were still investigating the motive for the attack.
The shooting is the latest attack on foreign civilians in Afghanistan after the bombing of a popular restaurant in January and an attack on an upscale hotel in March. Last month Taliban militants attacked a Kabul guesthouse used by Roots of Peace, a US anti-landmine charity, killing two people including a girl.
Thursday's attack, which is the second “insider attack” by a member of Afghan security forces targeting foreign civilians this month, came as Afghans were awaiting the results of the landmark April 5 presidential and local elections, which took place relatively peacefully despite Taliban threats of disrupting the vote.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)