Kabul: India on Tuesday strongly condemned separate terror attacks targeting a maternity hospital, a funeral and a military check post in Afghanistan, calling them “barbaric” acts against innocent people including women and children. Also Read - Afghan Woman Inspires Others to Breastfeed 20 Newborns who Lost Their Mothers After Terror Attack in Kabul Maternity Hospital
Militants attacked a maternity hospital in Kabul on Tuesday, killing 16 people, including two newborn babies and their mothers. In a separate attack, a suicide bomber targeted a funeral ceremony in Nangahar province, a hotbed of the Islamic State group, killing at least 24 people and injuring 68. Also Read - End of Humanity in Afghanistan: Twitter Left in Jitters After 'Condemnable Barbaric' Terror Attack in Kabul Maternity Hospital-Funeral
“India strongly condemns the barbaric terrorist attacks against innocent civilians, including women and children, at the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital maternity ward, funeral in Nangarhar province and the Army check post in Laghman province,” the MEA said. Also Read - COVID-19: Over 35 Stranded Indians Arrive in Delhi From Kabul
In a statement, it said the “reprehensible” attacks, including on mothers, newly born children, nurses and mourning families are appalling and constitute crimes against humanity.
“We extend our sincerest condolences to the families of the deceased and wish speedy recovery to those injured,” the MEA said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in Kabul, where both the Taliban and the IS frequently target Afghan military and security forces, as well as civilians. The Taliban denied they were involved.
But in a televised speech hours after the attacks, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that Afghan security forces would no longer operate in the defensive posture taken in the wake of the peace agreement. Instead, he called on security forces to launch attacks against Taliban insurgents.
The Taliban have not given up fighting and killing Afghans, instead they have increased their attacks on our countrymen and public places, despite repeated calls for a cease-fire, Ghani said.
Soon after the Kabul attack started, black smoke rose into the sky over the hospital in Dashti Barchi, a mostly Shiite neighborhood that has been the site of many past attacks by Islamic State militants.
The Interior Ministry spokesman, Tareq Arian, said over 100 women and babies were evacuated from the building before it was over.
Arian said 15 others, including women, men and children were wounded in the attack. Three foreign nationals were among those safely evacuated, he said, without elaborating.
(With PTI inputs)