Afghans say Taliban behind bloodshed, reject U.S. blame of Islamic State

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 15, 2020 - Duration: 01:53s

Afghans say Taliban behind bloodshed, reject U.S. blame of Islamic State

Afghan officials on Friday blamed the Taliban for a bloody attack on a maternity hospital in the capital, Kabul, this week, rejecting a U.S. assertion that it was carried out by Islamic State militants.

Joe Davies reports.

Afghans say Taliban behind bloodshed, reject U.S. blame of Islamic State

The gruesome attack on an Afghan hospital on Tuesday (May 12) - that hit a maternity ward - is being blamed on Islamic State, and not the Taliban.

That's the assessment of the U.S. government now.

But Afghan officials disagree.

They're still blaming the Taliban, a day after Kabul vowed to resume offensive operations against them.

At least 24 people were killed in the attack on the hospital in Kabul, including two newborn babies.

Some surviving babies were left without a mother.

Aziza Kermani is one of a number of young mothers who've volunteered to breastfeed them.

''I have come here today to breastfeed these babies because they lost their mothers in the bloody attack.

I have a 4-month-old baby whom I left at home and came here to give them a mother's love by breastfeeding them.

I'm truly devastated that this crime was committed against our children.'' Originally, after the hospital attack and a separate suicide bombing in Nangarhar province that killed scores, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered the military to switch to what he called "offensive mode" against the Taliban.

The U.S. is saying though that it was an Islamic State trap to derail peace deal efforts with the Taliban.

And it would be a setback to U.S. President Donald Trump's stalled plans to bring an end to America's longest war.

The U.S. has renewed calls for Afghans to embrace a troubled peace push.

But it's unclear whether declaring Islamic State responsible for the hospital attack will be enough to reverse the Kabul government's decision to resume offensive operations.

An affiliate of the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the Nangarhar bombing, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

No one has claimed responsibility for the hospital attack.

The Taliban denies involvement in either attacks.

But regardless, the government has accused the group of fostering an environment in which terrorism thrives - or of working with other militant groups who could have been involved.

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