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A baby that was shot twice during an attack on a maternity hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan that left 24 people dead has survived.
The newborn baby, who was born just three hours before the attack, was shot twice in the leg.
On Tuesday, 12 May 2020, three gunmen, suspected to be members of terror group ISIS, entered the hospital in the Afghan capital dressed as police officers before throwing grenades and opening fire with rifles.
The surviving injured newborn was among several of babies which have been taken to be cared for at the Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital in Kabul.
The baby’s mother, Nazia, died in the attack and the newborn was given the same name by her father Rafiullah after he had laid his wife to rest.
Dr Noor ul-Haq Yousafzai, a director at the hospital, told the Times:
“We set Nazia’s fracture, so she will be able to walk when she grows up. But to see a newborn baby, just three hours old, shot twice. Everyone is shocked. This is inhuman.”
And the mother who gave birth in silence was helped by a midwife who severed the baby’s umbilical cord with her hand.
“The mother was in pain but was trying not to make any sound,” the midwife said.
“She even put her finger in the newborn baby’s mouth to stop her from crying,” the woman told AFP by phone on Friday, her voice still shaking three days after the attack.
The raid on the Barchi National Hospital has sparked international outrage.
There were 26 mothers in the hospital on the morning gunmen posing as members of the Afghan security forces burst in, said the Doctors Without Borders charity, which runs the maternity ward.
Eleven of them were killed during the hours-long attack, including three in a delivery room with their newborn babies. Five were wounded.
Another 10 sheltered in ‘safe rooms’, which are common in Afghanistan and are often armoured to protect the occupants from gunfire or rockets.
The midwife, who spoke to AFP on the condition of anonymity, also rushed to one of the safe rooms when the emergency siren went off.
As she and some of the women huddled inside, they could hear gunshots as the attackers went from room to room throughout the hospital.
Then one of the women began to give birth.
“We helped her with our bare hands, we had nothing else in the room except some toilet paper and our scarves,” the midwife said.