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20 killed, 35 hurt in attack on Afghan hospital

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20 killed, 35 hurt in attack on Afghan hospital

Car bomb detonated outside clinic southeast of Kabul

At attack on a hospital in eastern Afghanistan reportedly killed at least 20 people and as many as 35 Saturday.

Government officials told the New York Times that a sport utility vehicle packed with explosives blew up outside the Akbar Khail hospital, a 10-bed clinic in Logar Province. The clinic is about 40 miles southeast of Kabul.

The attack, which left dozens more dead, was one of the worst in Afghanistan this year, reports Reuters.

The Taliban denied responsibility, insisting they do not target hospitals.

"This is a despicable attack against civilians who were seeking medical care, as well as visiting family members and health workers," Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. chief in Afghanistan, reportedly said in a statement.

The attack leveled the hospital and sent debris crashing down on patients and staff, Din Mohammad Darwish, a spokesman for the provincial governor’s office, told the Times.

“The hospital is totally destroyed,” he said. “The numbers may go higher.”

The blast left people buried under the rubble.

The hospital, originally meant as a maternity clinic, was built with United States Agency for International Development money.

The Afghan health ministry called the attack unprecedented and inhumane, the BBC reports.

Attacks that kill civilians have increasingly angered Afghans over the years of the war. Both insurgents and the Afghan government have accused NATO-forces of accidentally killing civilians while targeting militants, Reuters reports.

A U.N. report, though, has shown that militants are responsible for 75 percent of civilian deaths.

The United Nations also announced that May was the deadliest month in Afghanistan for civilians since 2007, with 368 killed, BBC states.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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