On Wednesday, May 13, IS claimed responsibility for two attacks at a Kabul maternity hospital and a funeral in Nangarhar province on Tuesday, May 12. The attack against the Kabul maternity hospital in the Dasht-e-Barchi area was carried out by at least seven heavily armed assailants reportedly wearing police uniforms and ended when security forces stormed the hospital, killing at least three of the attackers. On Wednesday, the Public Health Ministry announced that 24 people were killed and 16 others were wounded, including many female patients and several newborn babies. NGOs including Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Marie Stopes were active in the hospital and may have been the attackers' main targets. A guest house for foreign nationals located behind the hospital may also have been a target for the attackers.
The attack in Nangarhar was carried out by a suicide bomber at the funeral of a local security forces commander, killing at least 26 people and wounding 68.
The Taliban have denied responsibility for the attack, though President Ashraf Ghani ordered Afghan security forces to resume offensive operations Tuesday evening (local time) in response to a series of attacks against civilians and security personnel. Afghan security forces have been in a "defensive-offensive posture" since late March, having transitioned from a defensive posture adopted in late February when the Taliban signed a peace deal with the US.
Further attacks are possible over the coming days and weeks.
Individuals in Kabul are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity and obey all instructions issued by local authorities or their home governments.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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