Casualties as gunmen attack midwife training school

Posted by News Express | 29 July 2018 | 1,677 times

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Security forces have battled for hours a group of gunmen who stormed a medical training centre in eastern Afghanistan, in an attack that killed at least two people and wounded eight others, including five civilians, according to officials.

A series of explosions went off late on Saturday morning in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, before the attackers rushed the school for trainee midwives. Afghan special forces arrived to confront them and heavy gunfire ensued.

After a battle lasting for about six hours, sending clouds of black smoke spiralling into the sky, all the attackers were dead, according to a statement by Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial government spokesman.

One of the attackers died early in the operation after detonating a suicide bomb, but a second held out for several hours before being killed by security forces, said Khogyani.

He put the death toll at three - two security guards and a driver - while Ghulam Sanyee Stanikzai, Nangarhar police chief, told AFP news agency that two people - a guard and a driver - were killed.

Eight people - five civilians and three police officers - were also wounded.

Al Jazeera's Charlotte Bellis, reporting from Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, said 69 people were inside the school, including midwives, teachers and students.

"There was some intelligence prior to the attack that gave them a bit of a heads up and they managed to get into safe rooms and secure themselves," said Bellis.

She added that about halfway through the gun battle, special forces managed to extract 57 of the 69 people who were inside and the remaining 12 were also secured after the end of the operation.

No immediate claim of responsibility was made. The Taliban denied involvement in a WhatsApp message sent to reporters. 

Provincial health department spokesman Inamullah Miakhil said 48 women from remote districts of the province were enrolled in the two-year midwifery course. (Aljazeera)

Source: News Express

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