24 People Killed, Including Mothers and Newborn Babies, in Militant Attack on Maternity Ward in Afghanistan

A mother breastfeeds her 2-day-old baby at the Ataturk Children’s Hospital a day after they were rescued from a deadly attack on another maternity hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan.(Rahmat Gul / Associated Press)

The number of people who were killed in a militant attack on a maternity ward in the Afghan capital has risen to 24.

Mothers, newborn babies and nurses were among the victims. At least 16 people were injured, the health ministry said.

Tuesday’s attack in Kabul prompted widespread condemnation. No group has said it carried it out.

In a second incident that day, a suicide bomber killed at least 32 people at a funeral in Nangarhar, in the east of the country.

President Ashraf Ghani has ordered the resumption of offensive operations against the Taliban and other groups.

He accused the militants of ignoring repeated calls for a reduction in violence.

Warning: Some readers may find details in this story upsetting

The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind the attack on the police commander’s funeral in Nangarhar.

It is still not clear who carried out the attack at the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul, and the Taliban have denied any involvement.

Nineteen babies have been taken to safety in a children’s hospital in the city but many of their mothers are feared to be dead.

In all, about 100 people were killed in violence around Afghanistan on Tuesday, the New York Times said. The attacks underline the fragility of peace efforts, and have dimmed hopes for an end to decades of war.

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