Deadly Attacks Hit Afghan Maternity Clinic and Funeral Ceremony

Deadly Attacks Hit Afghan Maternity Clinic and Funeral Ceremony

Deadly Attacks Hit Afghan Maternity Clinic and Funeral Ceremony

Deadly Attacks Hit Afghan Maternity Clinic and Funeral Ceremony

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghans woke to another deadly day on Tuesday, with gunmen storming a maternity clinic in the capital and a suicide bomber killing at least 15 civilians at a funeral in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

The attack in Kabul, the capital, targeted a 100-bed hospital in the city’s west, a largely Shiite area. The hospital is known for its large maternity ward, and special forces were seen rescuing newborn babies as the fighting continued.

Marwa Amini, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry, said four civilians had been killed in the attack so far and five had been wounded. She said 80 people, including mothers, children and hospital staff, had been evacuated.

The bombing in Nangarhar Province targeted the funeral of a local police commander, who had died of natural causes. A suicide bomber detonated his explosives just as people were lining up for the final prayer, provincial officials said.

Feroz Bashari, the head of the Afghan government’s media and communications, said 15 civilians, including a member of the provincial council, had been killed in the suicide attack. He said 45 others were wounded.

The attacks come as the coronavirus is spreading rapidly across Afghanistan, threatening to overwhelm the impoverished country’s medical facilities.

Wahid Majrooh, the deputy minister of health, said the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases had risen to just below 5,000. But testing capacity is extremely limited and officials have warned that the true numbers are certain to be much higher.

“Today, my doctor, my medical personnel, the poor mother who is in labor are left in chaos — the doctor that is there to rescue her is covered in blood and falls next to her bed,” said Mr. Majrooh.

Najim Rahim contributed reporting.


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