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14 Dead After Militants Raid Maternity Clinic in Afghanistan

(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Militants stormed a maternity hospital within the western a part of Kabul on Tuesday, setting off an hours-long shootout with the police and killing 14 individuals, together with two new child infants, their moms and an unspecified variety of nurses, Afghan officers mentioned.

Whereas the battle was underway, Afghan safety forces struggled to evacuate the ability, finishing up infants and frantic younger moms, in response to photographs shared by the Inside Ministry.

However the day’s spasm of violence prolonged past Kabul. A suicide bomber in japanese Nangarhar province — a hotbed of the Islamic State group — focused a funeral ceremony, killing 24 individuals and wounding 68. And in japanese Khost province, a bomb planted in a cart in a market killed a baby and wounded 10 individuals.

The violence may additional undermine a peace course of within the wake of a deal signed between america and the Taliban in February, which envisages the beginning of talks amongst key Afghan figures, together with authorities representatives, and the Taliban. Relentless, near-daily assaults have additionally left Afghan authorities ill-prepared to face the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which has contaminated greater than 4,900 individuals within the nation and killed a minimum of 127.

Quickly after the Kabul assault began, black smoke rose into the sky over the hospital in Dashti Barchi, a principally Shiite neighborhood that has been the location of many previous assaults by Islamic State militants. The Inside Ministry spokesman, Tareq Arian, mentioned over 100 girls and infants had been evacuated from the constructing earlier than it was over.

Arian mentioned 15 others, together with girls, males and kids had been wounded within the assault. Three international nationals had been amongst these safely evacuated, he mentioned, with out elaborating. It was unclear why the maternity hospital in Dashti Barchi, a 100-bed facility, was focused — an assault Arian mentioned was an “act in opposition to humanity and a conflict crime.”

Nobody instantly claimed duty for the assault in Kabul, the place each the Taliban and the IS often goal Afghan navy and safety forces, in addition to civilians. The Taliban denied they had been concerned.

Pictures shared by the Inside Ministry in the course of the Kabul assault present new child infants and their moms being carried out of the hospital by Afghan safety forces.

“The forces try to remove the terrorists and convey the scenario beneath management,” mentioned Arian whereas the battle was ongoing.

By mid-afternoon, the ministry issued an announcement saying three attackers had stormed the hospital and that one was shot and killed whereas the opposite two had been nonetheless resisting arrest. The primary ground of the clinic was cleared however the operation was ongoing to safe the remainder of the constructing, the assertion mentioned.

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A couple of hours later, the ministry launched one other assertion, saying all three attackers had been useless and that the operation was over.

Within the night hours, husbands, fathers and relations of the hospital’s sufferers gathered across the website in Dashti Barchi, determined for information of their family members. A person learn out the names of those that had been evacuated to different hospitals.

Neighboring Pakistan condemned the Kabul assault, calling it an “inhuman and cowardly terrorist assault.” The international ministry mentioned each the Kabul hospital assault and the one on a funeral in japanese Nangarhar province “are notably despicable as they happen within the holy month of Ramadan and at a time when Afghanistan is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Within the Nangarhar assault, the suicide bomber focused the funeral in Khewa district of an area pro-government militia commander and former warlord who had died of a coronary heart assault on Monday night time, mentioned Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor.

The Inside Ministry mentioned the ultimate casualty toll included 24 killed and 68 wounded. The casualties had been dropped at the Nangarhar provincial hospital, mentioned hospital spokesman Gulzada Sangar. Khogyani added that the useless included Abdullah Lala Jan, a provincial council member, whereas his father Noor Agha, a lawmaker, was wounded within the assault.

In keeping with Zabihullah Zemarai, one other provincial council member, dozens of individuals, together with, lawmakers, provincial council members and locals had gathered for the funeral of Shaikh Akram, the militia commander. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid tweeted that the Taliban weren’t concerned within the assault.

Additionally, no group claimed duty for the assault in Khost, which killed a baby and wounded 10 individuals. The bomb was positioned in a cart at an area market and remotely detonated, mentioned Adil Haidari, spokesman for the provincial police chief.

The IS, in the meantime, claimed it was behind a spate of assaults on Monday in Kabul when 4 bombs, one positioned beneath a rubbish bin and the opposite three by the roadside, went off within the northern a part of town, wounding 4 civilians, together with a baby.

The Afghan intelligence service mentioned in an announcement late Monday that the company has arrested an IS chief within the area, Zia-ul Haq, also referred to as Shaikh Abu Omer Al-Khorasani.


Related Press writers Tameem Akhgar in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Kathy Gannon in Islamabad contributed to this report.

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