They Hid Under Beds. One Mom Was Killed Holding Her Newborn

Death toll in pair of attacks Tuesday in Afghanistan climbs to 56
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2020 10:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – The death toll in Tuesday's attack on an Afghan hospital's maternity ward has climbed to 24, while deaths from a later attack on a funeral have risen to 32, per the BBC. The terror began around 10am with blasts and gunfire heard at the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul. Three people, reportedly disguised as police officers, killed babies, mothers, medical workers, and a police officer, reports the New York Times. One dead mother was cradling her living newborn; others were found under beds. The attackers were eventually killed by security personnel. The government afterward blamed the Taliban, but the group denied responsibility for the attack. It was similar to others carried out by the Islamic State, per the BBC, which notes three high-profile ISIS members were arrested in Kabul on Monday.

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An Afghan group affiliated with the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the violence that followed in Nangarhar, some 125 miles to the east, per the Times. A suicide bomber detonated a device halfway through a funeral for a police commander. Some 133 people were injured in the blast, per the BBC. Even the body of the police commander was "riddled with shrapnel," reports the Times. "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," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday, per Fox News. "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," he added, "but they will never succeed." (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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