Last week’s horrific attack on Afghanistan’s biggest hospital in the capital Kabul used both by the civilians and the security forces has further dismayed the nation that has been copping with violence since decades. The attack, claimed by Daesh has left 49 people dead, most of them civilians, while over 80 got wounded, but many more are left with wounded souls.
The Afghan forces managed to neutralize the four attackers around seven hours after the hospital close to the diplomatic enclave was stormed. The tales of horror emerged much later when the survivors later spoke to the media. Eye witnesses saw the bloodthirsty assassins disguised as the hospital’s medical staff shooting indiscriminately, throwing grenades all over and even stabbing patients lying in beds. Afghanistan lost a number of its bright and emerging doctors on this day, and above all received another blow to the hopes for peace in the country that has been under war-like situation for more than four decades now.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has pronounced this attack as a ‘War Crime’. In a statement issued on Thursday, the HRW said attacks directly targeting health care in Afghanistan have increased sharply since 2014. It has cited a recent report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (IRC) that has noted some 240 attacks in 2015 and 2016 that killed or injured medical personnel and closed, damaged, or destroyed medical facilities, eroding the healthcare system in Afghanistan. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documented 119 incidents where healthcare facilities were targeted in 2016.
The Taliban and other insurgents were responsible for the vast majority of these incidents, though Afghan security forces have been responsible for raids on clinics, or have used medical facilities for military purposes, it added.
Ironically, the main player in this conflict i.e. the U.S. had also contributed instead of preventing such attacks. On 3 October 2015, a United States Air Force AC-130U gunship attacked the Kunduz Trauma Centre operated by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders in the northern Kunduz province which killed exactly 42 people; the same death toll for the latest attack claimed by Daesh on the Sardar Dawood Khan Hospital in Kabul.
It makes this quite obvious that such places where humanity prevails over all other identities remain unsafe in Afghanistan from all parties engaged in this ferocious conflict.