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Two babies killed in an attack on a maternity ward on Tuesday morning in the Afghan capitol of Kabul

PHOTO CREDITS: ASSOCIATED PRESS

According to BBC, two babies and twelve mothers and nurses were killed in a militant attack of a maternity ward on Tuesday morning in the Afghan capital city of Kabul. Fifteen other people, including children, were injured by the multiple gunmen who carried out the attack. Locals described hearing two blasts and then gunfire around 10:00 local time. A doctor who fled during the assault said that about 140 people were in the hospital when the gunmen attacked. Another doctor told the AFP News agency that “total panic” took hold as the assault unfolded. “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 who saw the attack begin, according to Reuters News agency. ~

An official said that Afghan special forces rescued 100 women and children, including three foreigners. The attackers gained access dressed as police officers, and were killed by security personnel in a battle that lasted hours. Afgan President Ashraf Ghani said that he was ordering the resumption of offensive operations against the Taliban and other groups. He accused these militant groups of ignoring his calls for a reduction of violence. On TV, Mr Ghani said: “In order to provide security for public places and to thwart attacks and threats from the Taliban and other terrorist groups, I’m ordering Afghan security forces to switch from an active defence mode to an offensive one and to resume their operations against the enemies.” ~

No one has claimed responsibility for the hospital attack, and the Taliban has denied any involvement. The maternity ward in the hospital is run by the international medical charity Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), and some of those working there are foreigners. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the attack on the hospital “sheer evil” and an “unconscionable assault”. In a statement, Pompeo urged the Afghan government and the Taliban to co-operate to “bring the perpetrators to justice.” ~

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