US condemns attack on Afghan maternity ward

A view of bullet ridden window and walls of MSF (Doctors without Borders) hospital, after an attack in Kabul, AfghanistanImage copyright

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The successfully being facility become once attacked on Tuesday morning

US Secretary of Speak Mike Pompeo has condemned a militant attack on a maternity ward in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Two babies and 12 moms and nurses had been killed when loads of gunmen stormed the successfully being facility on Tuesday morning.

In the intervening time, within the eastern province of Nangarhar, a bombing at a funeral killed a minimum of 26 of us.

Mr Pompeo acknowledged: “Any attack on innocents is unforgiveable, however to attack infants and females in labour… is an act of sheer base.”

“Terrorists who attack mourners lining up for prayer at a funeral are most efficient seeking to trip apart the bonds that succor families and communities collectively, however they’re going to by no procedure be triumphant.”

He added: “At some stage within the holy month of Ramadan and amidst the specter of Covid-19, these dual assaults are particularly appalling.”

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Mike Pompeo described the assaults as “sheer base”

In the wake of the assaults, President Ashraf Ghani acknowledged he become once ordering the resumption of offensive operations in opposition to the Taliban and varied groups.

He accused the militants of ignoring repeated calls for deal in violence.

The Islamic Speak (IS) neighborhood acknowledged it become once on the reduction of the attack on a police commander’s funeral in Nangarhar, within the east of the nation. It is peaceable undecided who utilized the attack on the Dasht-e-Barchi successfully being facility, and the Taliban own denied any involvement.

What came about on the successfully being facility?

The Kabul attack started at about 10: 00 (05: 30 GMT) on Tuesday, and locals described listening to two blasts then gunfire. One doctor who fled all via the assault told the BBC about 140 of us had been within the successfully being facility when the gunmen attacked.

A maternity ward within the successfully being facility is flee by the area scientific charity Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) and about a of those working there are foreigners.

One other doctor told AFP news company that “complete dismay” took succor because the assault unfolded.

Ramazan Ali, a dealer who seen the attack starting up up, told Reuters news company: “The attackers had been shooting at anybody in this successfully being facility with out any motive… Or no longer it’s a authorities successfully being facility, and plenty of of us lift of their females and younger of us for cure.”

Afghan particular forces rescued 100 females and younger of us, alongside side three foreigners, an authority told the BBC. The attackers, who reportedly had won access dressed as law enforcement officers, had been all killed by safety personnel after a fight lasting hours.

Images from the scene confirmed soldiers carrying one newborn diminutive one to safety, swaddled in a blood-stained blanket.

Many foreign workers are dwelling in a guesthouse on the reduction of the Dasht-e-Barchi Sanatorium and a doctor who fled the building told the BBC he seen an explosion there too.

In the past, identical assaults in this largely Shia residence of the capital were attributed to IS. The neighborhood’s leader in South Asia and the Far East become once arrested in Kabul on Tuesday, with two varied high profile people, Afghan intelligence acknowledged.

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To boot to 2 babies, a minimum of 12 moms and healthcare workers had been killed

In 2017, IS gunmen disguised as scientific workers attacked Kabul’s critical protection power successfully being facility, prompting standard shock and anger and elevating questions about safety. The authorities later confirmed about 50 of us had been killed.

However the Taliban also attack hospitals. Last September, 20 of us died after a truck packed with explosives become once detonated by militants from the neighborhood starting up air a successfully being facility in southern Zabul province.

On TV, Mr Ghani acknowledged: “In account for to kill safety for public places and to thwart assaults and threats from the Taliban and varied terrorist groups, I’m ordering Afghan safety forces to change from an active defence mode to an offensive one and to resume their operations in opposition to the enemies.”

Fragile hope shaken

Even in a nation which has considered the worst of the worst, this savage attack on newborn babies and their moms has anxious, and shaken fragile hope this might per chance per chance well be the year Afghanistan would at final starting up up to turn in opposition to peace.

Images of particular forces in rotund body armour, carrying infants to safety, will remain prolonged within the memory of folk who own time and again known as for a ceasefire – particularly when Afghans are struggling with one other lethal enemy in Covid-19.

Despite Taliban denials that this gross attack become once their work, President Ghani’s denunciation reflects the anger and frustration of many. Some distress that groups esteem Islamic Speak, attempting to power a shimmering elevated wedge between Taliban and the authorities, own also killed for now what had been gradual risky steps toward peace talks.

And for folk who own by no procedure relied on the Taliban’s dedication, this most up-to-date attack solidifies their acquire to the underside of to possess combating.

What came about on the funeral?

In line with survivors, hundreds of of us had gathered in Nangarhar province for a local police commander’s funeral, and the bomb detonated about half of-procedure via. Ataullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the governor, acknowledged 68 of us had been injured.

A member of the provincial council become once among the a minimum of 24 killed.

Tuesday’s assaults had been broadly condemned by worldwide locations all the method in which via the area and human rights groups, with Amnesty Global announcing: “The unconscionable warfare crimes in Afghanistan today… ought to awaken the area to the horrors civilians continue to face.”

On Twitter, UK International Secretary Dominic Raab acknowledged: “I’m terrified by the appalling terrorist assaults in Afghanistan today – alongside side on a maternity successfully being facility. Focusing on moms, their newborns and scientific workers is sinful.”

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Other folks reduction those injured all via the attack on the funeral to a successfully being facility

In the intervening time, in northern Balkh province, a minimum of 10 of us had been killed and heaps others injured in an air strike by US forces, reports acknowledged. Residents and the Taliban claimed the victims had been all civilians, however the Afghan Defence Ministry acknowledged all those killed had been militants.

What’s occurring with Afghan peace talks?

Since a February troop withdrawal agreement signed between the US and the Taliban, talks between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban own damaged down over a prisoner swap and violence has continued unabated.

The agreement become once aimed at ending extra than 18 years of warfare since US-led forces ousted the Taliban from vitality following the 9/11 assaults on the US, whose mastermind Osama Bin Encumbered had been given sanctuary by the hardline Islamist neighborhood.

Tens of hundreds of of us, most of them civilians, were killed within the warfare. Many extra were injured or displaced from their homes.

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Media captionIs peace with the Taliban likely?

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