India condemns 'barbaric' terror attacks in Afghanistan
India on Tuesday strongly condemned the "barbaric" terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, including one on a maternity hospital in Kabul that killed two newborns and a dozen others and on a funeral and a military check post in Afghanistan, terming them as "crimes against humanity."
Sixteen people, including two newborns, were killed at a maternity hospital in the western part of Kabul which was attacked by terrorists. Also in a separate attack in Nangarhar province, in the east of Afghanistan, a funeral ceremony was hit by an explosion killing at least 24 people and injuring over a dozen.
A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said: "India strongly condemns the barbaric terrorist attacks against innocent civilians, including women and children, at the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital maternity ward, funeral in Nangarhar province and the army check post in Laghman province on 11-12 May."
It said 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-based terror groups, it said that perpetrators of such attacks should be forced to eradicate safe havens and sanctuaries that have abetted terrorism in the region for decades.
"They 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," the MEA said.
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 MEA said.
The Taliban distanced itself from the attack on the maternity hospital, and security forces shut down the attack after five hours, with the killing of four attackers who an eyewitness said were wearing Afghan military uniforms, according to local media. According to the Afghanistan Interior Affairs Ministry 72 civilians, including children, were rescued.
In Nangarhar, in the east of Afghanistan, a funeral ceremony was hit on Tuesday morning by an explosion in which at least 24 people killed and more than a dozen wounded.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, in light of attacks, has ordered Afghan forces to switch from "active defensive" mode to "offensive" mode and to resume attacks on the Taliban.
Haneef Atmar, acting Foreign Minister, condemned attacks and said that such attacks will make Afghanistan lose faith in the ongoing peace process.
He also called on all parties to stop attacks, start intra-Afghan talks and pave the way for a permanent ceasefire in the country.