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4 suspects killed in army raid on Swedish NGO-run clinic in Wardak

KABUL: Four suspected terrorists have been killed in a raid on a health clinic run by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) in central Maidan Wardak province, residents said on Thursday.

The health facility in the Tangi Saidan area of Daimirdad district came under attack last night, an inhabitant said News on condition of anonymity. The raid drew strong denunciation from SCA.

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers took two patients and as many attendants out of the hospital and shot them dead, the resident claimed, believing the men were either militants or their supporters.

Meanwhile, the Wardak governor’s spokesman confirmed the overnight raid on the hospital. Ground troops and air force personnel took part in the operation, Toryalai Himmat said, adding three Taliban were killed and three caught alive.

While condemning the raid, the SCA said two patients and one personal caretaker were killed in the incident. “This attack constitutes a gross violation of humanitarian principles and the Geneva Convention,” an SCA official said.

Medical facilities and staff provided treatment to anyone in need and patients were to be granted safety according to humanitarian law, he argued, asserting SCA neutrality.

“The patients who are being treated at our clinics have the right to be protected,” says Jorgen Holmstrom, SCA country director of SCA. “We will further investigate this violation and let those responsible be held accountable.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the attack on the hospital was jointly conducted by Afghan and American forces. The dead were innocent civilians, not insurgents, he insisted. (PAN)

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