Suicide bomber attacks hospital in eastern Afghanistan


A suicide bomber killed more than 30 Afghans in a deadly attack on a hospital in the eastern province of Logar today.

The suicide bomber rammed an SUV packed with explosives into a local hospital in the Azra district in Logar just before noon today. Patients and medical personnel were among those killed in the attack. One Afghan official said that more than 35 people were killed.

The Taliban denied carrying out the attack and claimed the accusation was an attempt to "defame" the terror group.

"We condemn this attack on a hospital ... whoever has done this wants to defame the Taliban," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

But the Taliban have carried out suicide attacks and bombings at hospitals, mosques, markets, and other civilian centers. On May 21, the Taliban claimed credit for a suicide attack at a hospital on Kabul that is frequented by military and police personnel. And just yesterday, the Taliban detonated a bomb at a market in Kunduz, killing 10 civilians.

The Taliban and the Haqqani Network, a Taliban subgroup close to al Qaeda that is based in the Afghan east, both operate in Logar. They operate jointly as part of the Kabul Attack Network, a unit assigned to carry out attacks in and around the capital. The Kabul Attack Network includes elements from the Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, and al Qaeda, and routinely sends out suicide bombers to carry out attacks in the region. Taj Mir Jawad, a senior Taliban commander who co-leads the Kabul Attack Network, commands forces in the Pul-e Alam district in Logar.

The International Security Assistance Force claims that the Taliban is responsible for 85 percent of the civilian casualties in Afghanistan that occurred between January and the end of May of this year. Last year, the United Nations said the Taliban were responsible for 78 percent of civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

Sources:

Hospital Suicide Attack Kills 23 in Logar, TOLONews
At least 20 killed in suicide bombing in east Afghanistan, Reuters
Deadly suicide attack on Afghan hospital , Al Jazeera
ISAF Joins the Government of Afghanistan in Condemning Attacks in Logar and Kunduz Provinces , ISAF press release
Taliban behind most Afghan civilian casualties



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READER COMMENTS: "Suicide bomber attacks hospital in eastern Afghanistan"

Posted by Jeff Edelman at June 25, 2011 6:47 PM ET:

Where is Karzai's outrage? Where are his statements condemning this attack and threatening some measure against AQ and the taliban? These people intentionally target civilians. Yet, when American forces accidentally kill an Afghan, he pokes his head up to make some incredibly stupid and damaging negative comment. It's questionable whose side he's on. He's not smart enough to realize without America he's dead meat!