Babies killed in Kabul raid
Gunmen disguised as police attacked a hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Tuesday, killing 16 people including two newborn babies from a maternity clinic run by the international humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders.
In a separate attack the same day, a suicide bomber struck the funeral of a police commander, attended by government officials and an MP, in the eastern province of Nangahar, killing at least 24 people and injuring 68. Authorities said that toll could rise.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack. The Taliban, Afghanistan’s main Islamist insurgency group which says it has halted attacks on cities under a US troop withdrawal deal, denied involvement in both.
The IS militant group operates in Nangahar and has carried out a number of high-profile attacks in Kabul in recent months. On Monday security forces arrested its regional leader in the capital.
The Kabul attack began in the morning when at least three gunmen wearing police uniforms entered the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital, throwing grenades and shooting, government officials said. Security forces had killed the attackers by the afternoon.
“The attackers were shooting at anyone in this hospital without any reason. It’s a government hospital, and a lot of people bring in their women and children for treatment,” said Ramazan Ali, a vendor nearby who saw the start of the attack.
The 100-bed government-run hospital hosted a maternity clinic run by Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French name Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF).
MSF confirmed in a tweet that the hospital had been attacked. Just hours before it had tweeted a photo of a newborn at the clinic in his mother’s arms after being delivered safely by emergency caesarean section.