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article imageMilitants attack Afghan midwife training centre: officials

By AFP     Jul 28, 2018 in World

Several gunmen stormed a midwife training centre in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, wounding at least three people, officials said, as witnesses reported seeing plumes of smoke rising above the compound.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province.

A witness near the scene told AFP he could hear sporadic gunfire, suggesting the attack may be ongoing.

Several midwives have been rescued, provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said.

Provincial health department spokesman Inamullah Miakhil confirmed its midwife centre had been attacked.

A witness in a nearby department told AFP he heard several explosions and then saw three gunmen enter the lane where the midwife centre is located.

Ambulances and members of the security forces have swarmed the area, with some of the security forces appearing to be dismantling several improvised explosive devices in the street, a witness told AFP.

Jalalabad has been the scene of several attacks in recent months that have killed dozens, as US and Afghan forces continue offensive operations against militants.

Most of the attacks were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

Government buildings are a common target for insurgents.

The last major attack in Jalalabad happened on July 11 when gunmen raided an education department compound in the city, sparking an hours-long battle with security forces.

At least 11 people were killed in the attack. All were employees of the education department branch and included the director.

A suicide bomb attack claimed by IS on a crowd of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus in Jalalabad on July 1 killed at least 19 people and wounded 21.

The Taliban is Afghanistan's largest militant group and IS has a relatively small but potent presence, mainly in the east and north of the country.

It first emerged in Afghanistan in 2014 and quickly established a stronghold in Nangarhar.

Intensified aerial and ground operations against the militants have failed to dislodge them.

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