- Three gunmen stormed the Sardar Daud Khan hospital in Kabl, Afghanistan
- They gained entry to after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a rear entrance
- Terrorists surged into the hospital dressed as doctors and armed with AK-47s
- Police are currently trying to resolve the issue, with two gunmen still at large
Terrorists dressed as doctors in white lab coats have stormed a military hospital in Afghanistan shooting dead four patients and staff and injuring dozens more.
ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attack on Sardar Daud Khan hospital in Kabul.
Hospital administrators said three gunmen wearing white lab coats were on the loose after a suicide bomber on foot blew himself up at the backdoor entrance, sparking chaos inside the 400-bed facility.
Afghan policemen stand guard near the site of an explosion in Kabul, on March 8, 2017
The explosions and gunfire rattled Kabul's diplomatic district on Wednesday when the insurgents stormed Afghanistan's largest military hospital, officials said, as growing insecurity besets the war-battered country.
At least four people were so far reported killed and 29 others wounded, according to the health ministry, with medical staff trapped in the facility posting desperate messages for help on social media.
'Attackers are inside the hospital. Pray for us,' a hospital staff member wrote on Facebook.
'I saw one of the attackers, armed with an AK-47 and dressed as doctor, shooting at patients and guards on the third floor,' hospital nurse Abdul Qadeer said.
'They shot my friend but I managed to flee. I had to jump over the barbed wire to escape.'
At least two other loud explosions - including what the defense ministry called a car bomb in the hospital's car park - were heard as Afghan special forces launched a clearance operation to rein in the attackers.
'Three attackers armed with AK-47s and grenades entered the building. Our commandos are chasing them,' ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said around four hours after the first explosion.
'One of them has been killed, but two others are still resisting on the sixth and seventh floors of the building.
'We have evacuated all the patients.'
Afghan commandos (C/Rear) arrive at the site of an explosion in Kabul, on March 8, 2017
Afghanistan's warring parties, including government forces, have repeatedly targeted medical facilities, decimating Afghanistan's fragile health system and preventing conflict-displaced civilians from accessing lifesaving care.
'This is a criminal act. Nothing can justify an attack on hospitals,' Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said of the latest attack.
'We will never forgive these criminals. Unfortunately, this attack has resulted in some casualties. The attackers entered the backdoor disguised as doctors.'
It was initially believed the Taliban was responsible, but in an ambiguous statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said he could neither confirm nor deny that the insurgents were behind the attack.
The militant group is known to distance itself from attacks that result in high civilian casualties but they have ramped up their attacks even before the official start of its annual spring offensive.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani lambasted the attacks and said: 'There is an ongoing terrorist attack in a hospital which tramples all human values.
'In all religions, a hospital is regarded as an immune site and attacking it is attacking the whole of Afghanistan.'
The NATO-led Resolute Support mission said it was ready to assist Afghan security services.
The assault comes just a week after 16 people were killed in simultaneous Taliban suicide assaults on two security compounds in Kabul.
Dozens of others were wounded as a suicide car bomber struck an Afghan police precinct in western Kabul and a five-hour gun battle ensued after another attacker snuck in, sending clouds of smoke billowing into the sky.
In the second attack, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the gates of an Afghan intelligence agency branch in eastern Kabul.
The growing violence underscores rising insecurity in Afghanistan over the resurgent Taliban.
The country is bracing for an intense fighting season in the spring as the government's repeated bids to launch peace negotiations with the Taliban have failed.
Afghan forces, already beset by record casualties, desertions and non-existent 'ghost soldiers' on the payrolls, have been struggling to rein in the Taliban since US-led NATO troops ended their combat mission in December 2014.
Kabul last month endorsed US general John Nicholson's call for thousands of additional coalition troops in Afghanistan to fend off the militants before the spring offensive.
Extra troops were needed to end the stalemate in the war, Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, told the US Congress in what could be President Donald Trump's first major test of military strategy.
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