Kabul, Nov 4 : The recent terrorist attacks reportedly conducted by the affiliates of Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan have spread fear among Afghans who believed that peace had returned following a change of regime in the war-torn country.
“I was very happy after Taliban’s August takeover as I had believed that suicide attacks and bomb blasts would not occur anymore. But my hopes and wishes for peace shattered as we had witnessed a series of bomb blasts, killings and disappearances in recent weeks,” Kabul resident Sayyed Hashmat told Xinhua.
Earlier on Wednesday, the IS terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on the country’s largest military hospital in the capital of Kabul, according to a statement from the group cited in multiple reports.
The attack took place on Tuesday when five IS members armed with guns and suicide bomb jackets stormed the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital in a diplomatic district, killing seven people, including three women, a child and three Taliban members, Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed on social media.
At least two attackers detonated their suicide jackets at the gate and in the premise of the hospital, Xinhua news agency reported.
Those among the killed was Maulvi Hamdullah, a key Taliban member who led the counter-attack, according to multiple sources.
Hamdullah was the first Taliban high-ranking figure to enter the Afghan Presidential palace after the Taliban’s takeover on August 15 when former administration officials left the country.
At least 20 people were wounded in the blast and gunfight, according to an Italian-run emergency hospital in Kabul.
“Now we are in fears of Daesh or IS militants’ terrorist attacks. Everywhere, every location and every place could be the target of the IS bombings as we witness they attacked airport and mosques as well as Taliban vehicles in big cities in recent weeks,” said resident Hashmat, who runs a small business in Kabul.
“After the change of regime, the business and economy is collapsing,” he added.
The IS group has claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks across the country since mid-August.
On August 26, the group claimed a deadly suicide attack at a gate of Kabul International Airport that killed at about 180 people, including 13 US soldiers, and wounded over 200 others when a US-led evacuation operation was ongoing.
The group also staged three suicide bombings against mosques in Kabul, northern Kunduz and southern Kandahar provinces, killing more than 100 people and injuring nearly 250 others, besides bomb blasts against Taliban vehicles in Kabul, Jalalabad city and eastern Kunar province.
Also on Tuesday, Hijratullah Khogianiwal, a civil society Activist, and his brother were killed after gunmen riding a vehicle fired on them in Jalalabad, according to local media reports.
Local residents found two bodies after they were executed and hanged in trees in Nangarhar’s Chaparhar district early Tuesday morning. No details about the killings were available.
Meanwhile, another Kabul resident and a government employee, Naqibullah Haidari, told Xinhua that “the IS militants were not only attacking innocent people nowadays but they have also killed scores of people during the past government.”
“I don’t know what is happening in my country. We are fed up with the persistent killings and explosions. All groups claim they are doing well and working for Islam. But they are killing mostly innocents,” daily wager Baktash said.
“Attacking civilians, worshippers in mosques, and public facilities like hospitals is immoral and has no justification,” he added.
Local media reported that members of previous administration’s security forces had joined the IS outfit, while the Taliban Spokesman has rejected such reports as baseless.
Mujahid said Taliban security forces were capable enough of smashing any terrorist group and will not allow any Afghan soil to be used against any country.
Senior Taliban officials, Afghan politicians and the UN mission in Afghanistan strongly condemned the Tuesday’s attack.