3 American Doctors Killed By Afghan Police Officer, Who's Being Treated In The Hospital Where He Opened Fire

Less than a month after the deadly attack on two AP journalists in Afghanistan, three American doctors were fatally shot by an Afghan security guard in a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan Thursday; two of the victims were a U.S. father and his son. Several people were injured in the shooting — including the shooter himself, who is now being treated in the very same hospital he attacked.

The attack happened early Thursday morning at Cure International Hospital, a small 100-bed facility, which specializes in maternal, child and surgical care. According to security officials, the Afghan policeman left his post at a nearby checkpoint and walked into the hospital at roughly 9:30 a.m., after which he opened fire on the three American doctors and two other medical professionals.

"Five doctors had entered the compound of the hospital and were walking toward the building when the guard opened fire on them," Kanishka Bektash Torkystani, a Ministry of Health spokesman, told the AP. "Three foreign doctors were killed and two other doctors were wounded."

The attacker was also injured in the assault, although the details remain unclear; one source told the New York Times that the shooter turned the gun on himself after the opening fire on the doctors, other reports suggested that he was shot by someone else. Either way, he was immediately taken into custody — by midday, he was undergoing surgery in same hospital.

The motive behind the random act of violence also remains unclear — so far, the Taliban hasn't claimed any direct responsibility for it, though their "investigation" into the matter is still in process. “We are aware of this shooting at the Cure hospital and our investigation is ongoing, but we do not know if it was carried out by our men,” the Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, told the Times.

Earlier this month, two Associated Press journalists were shot and killed by a policeman in the province of Khost, the latest in a series of fatal attacks against journalists in Afghanistan. March saw the deaths an Afghan journalist and his family members, as well as a British-Swedish reporter — a concerning spike in violence as the U.S. prepares to withdraw most of its troops by the year's end.