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‘War Crime’: Gunmen Kill 24 at a Maternity Hospital in Kabul, Including Women, Newborns, and Children

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AsiaCurrent

‘War Crime’: Gunmen Kill 24 at a Maternity Hospital in Kabul, Including Women, Newborns, and Children

As Afghanistan reels from this most recent atrocity, the international community must come together to not only recognize the brutality of uncheckered ISIL activity in the country, but of the relentless attack and genocide being perpetrated on the Shia Muslim community.

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As Afghanistan reels from this most recent atrocity, the international community must come together to not only recognize the brutality of uncheckered ISIL activity in the country, but of the relentless attack and genocide being perpetrated on the Shia Muslim community.

In a horrifying attack, gunmen have stormed and attacked a maternity hospital in the western part of the Afghan capital of Kabul on Tuesday – killing 24 people, including nurses, newborn babies and their mothers, and children.

Tragic photos released by the Ministry of Interior Affairs show children lying dead on the hospital floors, as well as a mother who had been killed still tightly holding onto her newborn baby.

In an hours-long shootout with police, at least three gunmen dressed in police uniforms stormed the hospital, throwing grenades and shooting indiscriminately. While their motives are of yet unclear, at least officially, many are pointing towards the fact that the hospital, located in the Dashti Barchi neighborhood of Kabul, is home to Afghanistan’s Hazara minority.

Why are we ignoring the persecution of the Hazaras?

A mainly Shia Muslim ethnic group, the Hazara have long been targeted and killed by the ISIL – only last March ISIL had targetted a funeral procession in the neighborhood. ISIL, and those extremists following the terror group, consider Shia Muslims as heretics and have been behind the deplorable attacks and killings of Shia Muslims in both Afghanistan and the region.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Tareq Arian has called this attack “an act against humanity and a war crime”, with Amnesty International echoing these sentiments, calling it an “unconscionable war crime”.

Security forces have reportedly cordoned off the area, evacuating more than 80 women and their infant children from the hospital. In the evening, tragic scenes unfolded outside the hospital doors, where husbands, fathers, and family members of the hospital patients gathered for news of their loved ones.

As Afghanistan reels from this most recent atrocity, the international community must come together to not only recognize the brutality of uncheckered ISIL activity in the country, but of the relentless attack and genocide being perpetrated on the Shia Muslim community. For now, as the mothers and children who survived the attack recover, those who tragically lost their lives must remain at the forefront of our thoughts as we continue to denounce ideologies like the one ISIL and other extremist groups hold.

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