Babies orphaned by hospital terror attack pictured on ward as Taliban denies blame | World News


Pictures have been released of newborn babies left without mothers after a deadly attack on a maternity hospital in Afghanistan.

At least 24 people, including two newborns, were killed when at least three gunmen disguised as police officers burst into a ward in a hospital in Kabul and opened fire.

Around a dozen people were wounded and more than 100 women and babies taken out of the hospital before Tuesday’s attack was over, the Afghan Interior Ministry said.

A nurse checks newborn children who lost their mothers during an attack at a hospital, in Kabul
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A nurse checks newborn children who lost their mothers during the attack

TOPSHOT - An Afghan security personnel carries a newborn baby from a hospital, at the site of an attack in Kabul on May 12, 2020. - Gunmen stormed a hospital on May 12 in an ongoing attack in the Afghan capital Kabul, a government official and a fleeing doctor said. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
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An Afghan security officer carries a newborn baby from the hospital

The attack was one of a series of atrocities since Tuesday that have left more than 60 people dead, shattering the country’s fragile peace and provoking widespread condemnation of the perpetrators.

Those who attacked the hospital were killed by security forces, authorities said, but it is not clear which insurgent group, if any, was behind it.

The Afghan government said the Taliban was responsible, but the militant organisation that once ran the country has denied involvement, prompting speculation Islamic State was, in fact, behind it.

IS did claim responsibilty for a suicide bombing at a funeral in eastern Nangahar in central Afghanistan on the same day, which killed 32 people.

In a sign the country may be decending into the lawlessness that has characterised much of its recent history, another suicide attack on Thursday saw at least five people killed and 14 wounded in Gardez city.

A truck packed with explosives blew up near a court in the eastern Afghan city.



Aftermath of an attack on a Kabul hospital



Smoke fills the sky in the aftermath of the attack on the hospital
Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of an attack outside a hospital in Kabul on May 12, 2020. - Gunmen stormed a hospital on May 12 in an ongoing attack in the Afghan capital Kabul, a government official and a fleeing doctor said. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
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Afghan security personnel arrive at the hospital after the attack

Tariq Arian, an interior ministry spokesman said: “A car bomb explosion took place near a military court in Gardez city, which is a populated area. Dozens of civilians are feared to be dead and wounded.”

The Taliban was responsible for the latest attack, its spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.

On Thursday, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani condemned the attacks and said he had ordered the military to switch to offensive mode rather than the defensive stance it had adopted as the United States withdraws troops and tries to broker talks with the Taliban.

Human Rights Watch condemned the hospital attack as an “unspeakable act and an apparent war crime.” The United Nations has demanded that the perpetrators “face justice.”



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