Afghan forces to resume offensive
KABUL – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered the country’s security forces Tuesday to resume offensive operations against the Taliban and other insurgent groups, following two separate attacks that killed dozens of people.
“I order all the security forces to end their active defence position, return to offensive postures, and resume their operations against the enemy,” Ghani said in a televised address.
Gunmen stormed a maternity hospital in the Afghan capital Tuesday, killing at least 14 people — including newborns and nurses — as a suicide blast at a funeral in the country’s restive east left two dozen mourners dead. The latest violence comes as Afghanistan grapples with myriad crises, including a rise in militant operations across the country, a surge in coronavirus infections, and a reduction in foreign military support.
Three gunmen held siege the Barchi National Hospital in Kabul for hours after the early-morning attack before security forces killed them in a clearance operation, the interior ministry said. Heavily armed security forces were seen carrying infants away from the scene — at least one wrapped in a blood-soaked blanket.
“The fatalities also include mothers and nurses,” interior ministry spokesman Tareq Arian said.