Three killed in attack on midwife training school in Afghanistan

Dozens of students rescued by security services after seven-hour siege in Jalalabad

Peter Stubley
Saturday 28 July 2018 19:24
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Afghan security forces inspect the damage after the attack on the midwife training centre
Afghan security forces inspect the damage after the attack on the midwife training centre

Extremists killed three people and injured seven in a suicide bombing at a midwife training centre in Afghanistan.

Dozens of female students were at the school in the eastern city in Jalalabad when two armed militants launched the attack at around 11pm on Saturday.

The first blew himself up near the gate, killing a driver and two security guards and clearing the way for the second to charge into the centre.

After a siege lasting nearly seven hours the remaining gunman was shot dead by Afghan security forces.

Seven people were injured including three members of the security forces, two civilians and two government employees, according to provincial government spokesman Attahullah Khogyani.

More than 60 students, teachers and staff and were rescued from the compound, which contained a training facility and a student residence, he said.

Twelve young children at a day care centre for the school's staff also escaped injury.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but a number of recent attacks have been claimed by Isis, which has a stronghold in the surrounding province of Nangarhar, on the border with Pakistan. The Taliban have denied any involvement.

It was not immediately clear why militants targeted the midwife training centre, but extremist groups have previously targeted medical facilities. Isis have also banned unmarried women from working outside the home in some areas.

Gunfire and sporadic explosions were heard for several hours after the attack was launched just after 11am local time on Saturday and ended at around 6pm.

“The reason that it took such a long time to subdue the attack was the presence of women and children inside the center, who were badly scared,” said Nangarhar police chief Gholam Sanayi Stanikzai. “Security forces proceeded very carefully.”

Witnesses said many of the midwifery students barricaded themselves in a safe room at the centre during the siege.

The training centre, which is at the centre of the city, is run by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health and offers two-year midwifery training courses.

Additional reporting by Associated Press.

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