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Four children and two children’s mothers among those killed in blast in Kabul that also injured scores of patients
An explosion near a hospital in the Afghan capital killed at least three people and wounded 16 on Wednesday, as well as causing extensive damage to buildings on the city’s busy Shah-e-Kot road.
Victims of the blast, which struck outside the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital, included four children and two children’s mothers, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.
Security guards helped to evacuate the hospital’s medical staff after the explosion, according to Helmy Wardak, a doctor at the hospital.
“With the walls of the room around me, I saw the terrorists sitting among the dead body of a woman, they all had shalwar kameez [traditional clothing],” he said.
Casualties included women and children, the ICRC said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, which occurred during rush hour when the hospital was receiving patients with gunshot and bomb wounds, and before the start of the treatment.
Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid said: “Three people were killed and 16 wounded, including four children, including a three-month-old baby.”
MSF confirmed that three had been killed, and said that its staff, who include doctors, nursing staff and translators, assisted two of the victims with surgery.
“This cowardly act of terrorism in the heart of the city constitutes a crime against humanity,” James Morris, MSF’s head of mission in Afghanistan, said in a statement.
“It is unforgivable that so many people were killed or injured in such a cold-blooded way by someone hoping to cause harm to patients and health workers.”
“This attack comes at a particularly cruel time for the hospitals in Afghanistan, as it comes on the heels of the killing of 16 employees of the MSF hospital in Kunduz last month, which MSF condemned as an attack on humanity,” Morris said.
The World Health Organisation also condemned the bombing.
“We condemn this latest cowardly attack which has targeted innocent people taking part in their daily lives, in a civilian area,” spokesperson Cecile Pouilly said.
“The patients and doctors of the MSF hospital are victims of this attack in their personal homes where they were taking refuge.”
Other medical facilities have been attacked in recent months.
Last month gunmen stormed the MSF hospital in Kunduz, killing at least 16 people including staff members and patients.
Local police said they had killed several of the gunmen who were guarding the facility after the blast.
The Afghan Taliban denied responsibility for the attack.
This report has been amended. An earlier version said the bombing took place at 2.15pm local time, which was incorrect.