US Department of State on Tuesday in a statement “condemned the heinous terrorist attacks in Afghanistan,” where “gunmen seized one of Kabul’s busiest hospitals, which housed a maternity ward run by Doctors Without Borders.”
The United States condemns in the strongest terms the “two horrific terrorist attacks” in Afghanistan today, it said.
“In an unconscionable assault, gunmen seized one of Kabul’s busiest hospitals, which housed a maternity ward run by Doctors Without Borders. In the hospital, the terrorists took the lives of at least 13 innocent people, including newborn babies, new mothers, and health care workers,” the US statement said.
The statement said any attack on innocents is “unforgivable”, but to attack infants and women in labor in the sanctuary of a hospital is “an act of sheer evil.”
The statement also said that in the eastern province of Nangarhar, a suicide bomber attacked the funeral of a local police commander, “leaving at least 26 people dead and more than 68 wounded.”
“Terrorists who attack mourners lining up for prayer at a funeral are only seeking to tear apart the bonds that hold families and communities together, but they will never succeed. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families of both attacks, as well as the brave Afghan security forces who defended against the terrorists,” it said.
During the holy month of Ramadan and amidst the threat of COVID-19, these dual attacks are particularly appalling, according to the statement.
“We note the Taliban have denied any responsibility and condemned both attacks as heinous. The Taliban and the Afghan government should cooperate to bring the perpetrators to justice. As long as there is no sustained reduction in violence and insufficient progress towards a negotiated political settlement, Afghanistan will remain vulnerable to terrorism,” it said.
“The Afghan people deserve a future free from terror, and the ongoing peace process continues to present a critical opportunity for Afghans to come together to build a united front against the menace of terrorism,” it added.
The attack began with explosions and gunfire near a maternity hospital in the Dasht-e-Barchi area of PD13 in western Kabul on Tuesday morning, said residents, and Afghan security forces, including special forces, responded to the incident. The Afghan Ministry of Interior announced the attack was over with all attackers killed after five hours of fighting.
— FJ (@Natsecjeff) May 13, 2020
According to the Afghan Ministry of Interior, there were four suicide attackers in military uniforms that stormed the hospital and all were killed.
The Afghan Ministry of Interior said that at least 14 civilians were killed, including two newborn babies, and fifteen others were wounded in the clash.
The Afghan forces rescued more than 40 people from the medical clinic in Kabul, said Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.
At least 24 people were killed and almost 70 others were wounded in a bombing at a funeral in the eastern province of Nangarhar on Tuesday, local officials confirmed.
Eyewitnesses said that explosion happened in a crowd of people who were gathered for the funeral of Shaikh Akram, a former commander of public uprising forces, in Shewa district.
Local officials said the casualties may rise as a number of wounded are in critical condition.
The attack in Nangarhar was claimed by Islamic State. However, the attack in Kabul still remains unclaimed.
The US intelligence assessment says that the attack in Kabul was also carried out by Islamic State.