Six killed as bomber hits Kabul hospital

A SUICIDE bomber struck a tent filled with medical students eating lunch at a military hospital in Kabul yesterday, killing at least six people and wounding 23.

The blast, which thundered across the capital, came as the Taleban stepped up attacks as part of a spring offensive against Nato, Afghan government installations and officials. Afghan army and police increased patrols on the streets.

Taleban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was targeting foreign trainers and Afghan doctors who work with them.

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He claimed two bombers took part, but defence ministry spokesman General Mohammed Zaher Azimi said only one attacker was involved and only one blast was heard at the Mohammad Daud Khan military hospital.

The hospital is the largest in Kabul with 400 beds, and its grounds contain numerous buildings and small parks.

A Nato military official said no casualties were reported among the group of international trainers who assist at the hospital. Gen Azimi said all the dead and wounded were civilians and university students.

There have been reports in recent weeks that insurgents were planning suicide attacks inside the capital.