Daoud Khan Military Hospital

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Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan National Military Hospital
Afghan National Army
LocationWazir Akbar Khan, Kabul, Afghanistan
FundingGovernment hospital
Hospital typeMilitary; teaching
Emergency departmentYes
Founded1973; 46 years ago (1973)

The Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan National Military Hospital, often referred to as the Daoud Khan Military Hospital or the National Military Hospital, is a military hospital located in Kabul, Afghanistan. With 400 beds,[1][2] it is largest military medical facility in Afghanistan,[3] and serves members of the Afghan National Army and other members of the Afghan law enforcement community, and also contains a teaching department. Established in 1973 by the Soviets, it is now described as the "crown jewel" of the Afghan healthcare industry.[4][5]


The Daoud Khan Military Hospital was constructed by the Soviets in 1973.[5]

Today, with 400 beds, Daoud Khan Military Hospital is the largest and best-equipped medical facility in Afghanistan.[3][4][6][7]

On 22 October 2015, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani visited the hospital.[8]

2011 suicide bombing[edit]

Midday on Saturday, 21 May 2011, a powerful bomb was detonated on the grounds of Daoud Khan Military Hospital, killing 6 people and injuring 26.[1][7] It was the work of a suicide bomber who set off the blast inside a tent on hospital grounds while medical trainees were sitting down to eat lunch.[1][7] It is unknown how the attacker infiltrated the hospital property, having someone gone through military checkpoints at the entrances.[1]

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack through a spokesman for the group, Zabiullah Mujahid.[7] Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack as a "wild act" against human and religious values, saying in a statement, "The enemies of Afghanistan are so cruel and spiritless that they attack even patients and doctors of the hospital, which is against Islamic law and principles."[1] International Security Assistance Force spokesman Vic Beck called the strike "abhorrent," saying it "represents the lowest, most cowardly attack."[7] The United Nations Afghanistan mission said in a statement, "All medical personnel and facilities must be respected and protected in all circumstances. Further, directing an attack against a zone established to shelter wounded and sick persons, and civilians from the effects of hostilities, is also illegal and prohibited. As parties to the conflict, all anti-government elements have clear responsibilities under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and to not attack them," the U.N. Afghan mission said in a statement. [7]

2017 terrorist attack[edit]

On 8 March 2017, the Daoud Khan Military Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, was attacked by a group of gunmen, some of them dressed in white hospital robes. Government officials confirmed at least 49 people were killed in the hours-long assault, while 63 others were injured.[9] By March 13 the unconfirmed death toll had surpassed 100, with an unknown number injured.[10][11] The Islamic State claimed to have carried out the attack, but officials suspected the Haqqani network instead.[10][9][11]

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah both made statements condemning the attack,[12] as did the United Nations.[13] In the days after the attack, both Ghani and Abdullah visited the hospital to thank the doctors and assess damages.[14]

From the United States, Army General John W. Nicholson Jr., commander of the US Forces in Afghanistan, condemned the attack as an "unspeakable crime," and praised security forces for their swift response, saying they deserved "our highest praise and respect."[15] The United States Embassy in Kabul released a statement saying, "Targeting a medical facility providing care for the brave Afghans working to protect their fellow citizens has no possible justification in any religion or creed."[15]

Administration and organization[edit]

The hospital was established to treat wounded Afghan soldiers, and is funded largely by the United States government.[5] It is staffed entirely by Afghan doctors and nurses, with American military doctors and other U.S. personnel to serve as mentors and advisors.[5]


During the summer of 2010, allegations of corruption and abuses came to light regarding the Daoud Khan Military Hospital.[5] This included widespread theft, mismanagement, and patient neglect, as well as firsthand allegations that Afghan staff would steal fuel from the hospital's generators and steal pharmaceutical drugs to sell on the black market.[5] Furthermore, American-trained Afghan doctors and nurses would rarely show up to work.[5] Hospital conditions were described as "deplorable" and "Auschwitz-like."[5] In September 2011, these abuses became public, and in October 2011, these issues were documented by the United States Department of Defense.[5]

The hospital has also been subject to controversy in Afghanistan for its treatment of Taliban fighters.[4] The hospital devotes two floors for Taliban patients, who are cared for by doctors without discrimination.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Rivera, Ray; Sahak, Sharifullah (2011-05-21). "Blast Hits Military Hospital in Afghan Capital". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  2. ^ Safi, Michael (2017-03-08). "Isis militants disguised as doctors kill 38 in Kabul hospital attack". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  3. ^ a b "Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital | FDD's Long War Journal". www.longwarjournal.org. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  4. ^ a b c "Taliban treated alongside angry soldiers in Afghan hospital". The Express Tribune. 2015-12-21. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dawood National Military Hospital Afghanistan: What Happened and What Went Wrong? (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Government Publishing Office. 2012.
  6. ^ CNN, Ehsan Popalzai and Ralph Ellis. "Kabul hospital attack leaves 30 dead". CNN. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  7. ^ a b c d e f CNN Wire Staff (21 May 2011). "Afghan hospital assaulted amid fears of 'high-profile attacks'". Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  8. ^ "ارگ on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  9. ^ a b "Death toll from Kabul hospital attack rises to 49". Reuters. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "Survivors of Kabul hospital attack deadly to over 100 say insiders also took part". The Japan Times. 13 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Survivors of Kabul hospital attack deadly to over 100 say insiders also took part". The Japan Times. 13 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Afghanistan: IS gunmen dressed as medics kill 30 at Kabul military hospital". BBC News Online. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  13. ^ "After Deadly Attack on Kabul Hospital, 'Everywhere Was Full of Blood'". The New York Times. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  14. ^ "President Ghani, CE Abdullah visit Sardar Daud Khan Hospital – National Radio Television of Afghanistan". www.rta.org.af. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  15. ^ a b CNN, Ehsan Popalzai and Ralph Ellis. "Kabul hospital attack leaves 30 dead". CNN. Retrieved 2017-03-18.