Suicide attack on hospital in Afghanistan kills at least 20
Affected Countries: afghanistan;
At least 20 people have been killed and more than 90 wounded in a suicide bombing on a hospital in southern Afghanistan.
Hospital visitors used shawls and blankets to carry casualties inside the heavily-bombed building, while the worst of the wounded were rushed to hospitals in nearby Kandahar.
The explosion destroyed part of the hospital in Qalat, Zabul, and wiped out a fleet of ambulances.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, which is the latest in a series of near-daily assaults on the stricken country since peace talks with the US collapsed earlier this month.
Suhail Shaheen, a spokesperson for the Taliban political office in Qatar, said a ceasefire had been part of a US-Taliban deal before US President Donald Trump declared it “dead”.
A spokesperson for the terrorist group said the target was a nearby intelligence office, where he said “tens of intelligence operatives” were killed or wounded.
A nearby mosque was also partly destroyed in the blast, which happened just after morning prayers.
Many of the dead are believed to be women and children.
An Afghan National Security Forces solider posted a picture on Twitter of a six-month-old child, saying troops were searching for her parents.
Hours earlier, a drone strike in Nangarhar province killed and wounded at least 30 people.
The attack has been blamed on US forces and prompted an angry reaction from residents, who carried 12 bodies to Jalalabad in protest.
As many as 50 people were in the fields where the attack took place and there is believed to be a number of people still missing.
A spokesperson for the provincial governor, Attaullah Khogyani, said the target was Islamic State militants in the area.
But Jawaid Zaman, the presidential adviser on tribal affairs, said residents had notified authorities in the area that they would be collecting dried fruit.
It follows two separate attacks on Tuesday which left at least 48 people dead and dozens wounded.
One targeted a campaign rally by President Ashraf Ghani, with a suicide bomber on a motorcyle ramming into the entrance of the venue hosting the rally.
The president, who was present at the time of the explosion, was reported to be unharmed but children and soldiers were among the dead.
A second bomb in the capital of Kabul on the same day was detonated near the defence ministry, US embassy and NATO headquarters.
The violence comes ahead of national elections in the country later this month.