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Kabul ambulance bombing shatters lives of ordinary people

  • Mon, 29 Jan 2018 03:30
Mon, 2018-01-29 03:00

KABUL: The Afghan media on Sunday focused on the killing of 103 people and wounding of 235 by a massive bomb hidden in an ambulance outside a main hospital in a densely populated part of the capital a day earlier. All entertainment programs were canceled on Sunday.
Several hospitals did not have enough doctors, medicines and beds to treat the victims, and had to do so in the cold outside or on corridor floors.
Victims’ panicked relatives rushed from one hospital to another to look for the list of casualties.
“It took me all day to find the name of my son on the list of casualties after going to various hospitals,” Mohammed Azam, 55, told Arab News outside Wazir Akbar Khan hospital.
“Compared to others who’ve lost next of kin, I consider myself lucky because he’s alive. I have some hope,” he added, despite not having seen his son yet.
Chaman Shah was not so lucky, having found out that his teenage nephew had died from his wounds.
“Nothing is left for me and his family because he was the only breadwinner,” Shah told Arab News, weeping. “So many lives have been lost. How long do we have to suffer like this?”
The attack, which Afghan Interior Minister Wais Barmak blamed on Pakistan-based militant groups, was the second major one in a week in Kabul.
The previous Saturday, nearly 40 people, including 14 foreigners, were killed in a 17-hour attack by the Taliban on a posh hotel in the capital.
“We need to eliminate terror hideouts in Pakistan to restore security in Afghanistan,” said Barmak.
“Afghans are facing a major plot in the region. We need to be mobilized against it on a wider regional level.”
The chief of the National Directorate of Security, Masoom Stanekzai, blamed Pakistani clerics for the latest attack.
“Afghanistan faces a coordinated ideological war that’s formulated outside the country,” he said.
“Pakistani clerics denounced violence in Pakistan, but announced it’s legitimate in Afghanistan. Suicide attackers are trained in Kochlak (a district in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan).”
Islamabad on Saturday condemned the “dreadful terror attack” in Kabul. “We express deep grief and sorrow at the loss of precious human lives in this terrorist attack,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman said.
“Pakistan reiterates its strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. No cause or ends justify acts of terrorism against innocent people,” he added.
“We emphasize the need for concerted efforts and effective cooperation among the states to eradicate the scourge of terrorism.”
Callers on Afghan radio stations chided their government for not being able to stop the attacks despite the use of restrictions, roadblocks, scanners and sniffer dogs due to previous attacks.
Outside Kabul’s hospitals, victims’ relatives questioned the need for the US military presence in Afghanistan.
“What are they doing here when they can’t stop the insecurity and the war despite so much advanced military technology?” Hafizullah, 45, told Arab News.
The Afghan government declared Sunday a national day of mourning. US President Donald Trump condemned the latest attack, tweeting: “We will not allow the Taliban to win!”

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