On Tuesday morning, a militant attack on a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan left more than 20 dead.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the United States has blamed the Islamic State group.
WHAT HAPPENED IN AFGHANISTAN?
At 10 in the morning, a group of militants posing as members of the Afghan security forces opened fire inside the maternity ward of Dasht-e-Barchi National Hospital. The ward was run by Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French name Médecins Sans Frontières.
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Frederic Bonnot, the organization’s head of programs in Afghanistan, said –
“They went through the rooms in the maternity, shooting women in their beds. It was methodical. Walls sprayed with bullets, blood on the floors in the rooms, vehicles burnt out and windows shot through.”
During the attack, 26 mothers were admitted to the hospital. The attack left 11 of those mothers dead, 3 of whom in a delivery room with their newborn children.
2 newborn babies are also among those dead.
There are “safe rooms” constructed in many places across the country, some of which are armored to protect from gunfire or rockets.
10 mothers also took shelter in a safe room, along with a midwife. It was during the attack that one of the patients began to give birth.
The midwife said –
“We helped her with our bare hands, we had nothing else in the room except some toilet paper and our scarves.”
She added –
“When the baby was born, we cut the umbilical cord using our hands. We used our headscarves to wrap the baby and the mother.”
Afghan security forces later killed 3 gunmen.
Shaharzad Akbar, the chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, tweeted –
“These newborns, among the first voices they heard, on the first day of their lives, was the sound of gunfire … and among their first experiences, being targeted in a war they and their mothers had no part in.”