Afghan commandos killed four at medical clinic: human rights group

Afghan National Army commandos take part in a military exercise at a training center in Herat in this November 11, 2017 file photo. (AFP)
Updated 12 July 2019
0

Afghan commandos killed four at medical clinic: human rights group

  • Doctors and hospitals have been frequently targeted during the Afghanistan’s decades-long conflict
  • Afghan special operations forces entered the clinic, the only one operating in Wardak province west of Kabul, on the night of July 8-9

KABUL: Afghan commandos must be prosecuted after they “executed” four civilians during a night raid on a medical clinic in central Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said Friday.
Doctors and hospitals have been frequently targeted during the country’s decades-long conflict, with 2019 already proving far deadlier than last year for aid workers.
Several witnesses told the US-based non-governmental organization that Afghan special operations forces entered the clinic, the only one operating in Wardak province west of Kabul, on the night of July 8-9.
“They killed a family caregiver and then detained and bound staff and family members accompanying patients,” HRW said in a statement.
Three other people — a lab worker, a guard and another person caring for a patient — were later found dead from gunshots. HRW said they had been “executed.”
“Attacks on medical facilities challenge the very foundations of the laws of war, and will persist if those responsible go unpunished,” HRW’s associate Asia director Patricia Gossman said.
“It’s imperative for the Afghan government to prosecute the commanders who ordered the killings as well as the soldiers who pulled the trigger.”
Neither the Afghan defense ministry nor US forces in Afghanistan immediately commented. It was not clear whether the US military had supported Afghan troops in the raid.
HRW said deliberate attacks on medical facilities and the summary killing of civilians or incapacitated combatants are war crimes.
The clinic — run by the non-governmental Swedish Committee for Afghanistan — was attacked in 2016, allegedly by both international and Afghan army troops. Three people were killed in that incident.
On Wednesday, Toby Lanzer, deputy head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said 2019 has been a deadly year for health and aid workers. So far this year, 77 aid workers have been killed, injured or abducted compared with 76 in all of 2018, he said.
The raid came only hours after a team of Afghan representatives had met with Taliban officials at a historic summit in Doha where parties pledged to reduce civilian casualties to “zero.”


Three people injured when car smashes into Trump Plaza lobby in New York suburb

Updated 2 min 42 sec ago

Three people injured when car smashes into Trump Plaza lobby in New York suburb

  • The luxury residential property in New Rochelle is not where US President Donald Trump and his family have a residence
  • Neither a representative for Trump’s properties nor the New Rochelle police were immediately available for comment

ATLANTA: A car plowed into the main hall of a Trump Plaza in suburban New York on Tuesday night, causing minor injuries to two bystanders and the driver, news media reported.

The luxury residential property in New Rochelle is not where US President Donald Trump and his family have a residence, but was widely reported by national media nonetheless.

A local ABC affiliate said the driver casually got out of his Mercedes-Benz C300 coupe and sat on the sofa in the building’s main hall after the crash at 9 pm in the city north of New York. The crash appeared to be an accident and the driver was being questioned by the police early Wednesday, NBC and other media reported.

There was nothing suspicious about the crash, New Rochelle police told local media. “We would like to thank the first responders for their swift attention to this evening’s incident,” a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said in an emailed statement to ABC News. “We are truly grateful to them for their service.”

Neither a representative for Trump’s properties nor the New Rochelle police were immediately available to Reuters early Wednesday for comment.