India condemns attack on maternity hospital in Afghanistan capital
Tuesday’s attack on the maternity hospital in Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul prompted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to switch from an “active defensive” mode to an “offensive” mode and to resume attacks on the Taliban.Updated: May 12, 2020, 23:26 IST
India on Tuesday strongly condemned a string of terror attacks in Afghanistan, including one on a maternity hospital in a Shia-dominated area of Kabul that killed two newborn babies and a dozen others, and tacitly pointed the finger of blame at Pakistan-based terror groups.
Tuesday’s attack on the maternity hospital in Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul prompted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to switch from an “active defensive” mode to an “offensive” mode and to resume attacks on the Taliban.
A statement from the external affairs ministry said: “India strongly condemns the barbaric terrorist attacks against innocent civilians, including women and children, at the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital maternity ward, [a] funeral in Nangarhar province and the army check post in Laghman province on 11-12 May.”
It added, “Such reprehensible attacks, including on mothers, newly born children, nurses and mourning families are appalling and constitute crimes against humanity.”
In an apparent reference to Pakistan, India said the perpetrators of such attacks “should be forced to eradicate safe havens and sanctuaries that have abetted terrorism in the region for decades and caused immense miseries to untold number of people in the region”.
India further said there could be “no justification for such continued acts of terrorism” and the “perpetrators of such heinous acts and their sponsors and supporters should be held accountable and brought to justice”.
The statement said India would stand with the people, government and security forces of Afghanistan in their efforts to bring peace and stability to the nation.
“The holy month of Ramzan should be a period of fasting, prayer and reflection. We call for an immediate cessation of terrorist violence and cooperation to deal with the humanitarian situation arising from the spread of Coronavirus in Afghanistan,” the statement added.
The Taliban distanced itself from the attack on the maternity hospital, which was carried out by four suicide attackers clad in military uniforms, according to reports in the Afghan media. All the attackers were also killed.
Afghan security forces rescued more than 40 people, including several infants, from the hospital.