At least 20 newborn babies remained without caretakers following the attack on a maternity hospital in the west of Kabul on Tuesday, according to doctors, who say there is no news on their families so far.
The attack left 24 people dead, mostly women and children. The newborn babies are kept at Ataturk Hospital in Kabul.
“Twenty babies have been brought to Ataturk Hospital. One of them was sent to the children’s health hospital for orthopedic treatment,” said Jannat Gul Askarzada, head physician of the hospital.
But in an unpreceded move, a number of women went to the hospital to feed these babies.
The action was initiated by Feroza Omar, mother of a 14-month-old baby, who went to the hospital on Tuesday hours after the attack.
Omar, who is working at the Ministry of Economy, called on others to do the same. Her move was widely appreciated on social media as a symbol of national unity among Afghans.
“All of us have been damaged by criminals who are destroying humanity in Afghanistan. I am one of those,” Omar said.
Others also extended help to the babies.
“I am ready to adopt one of the babies who have lost their mother or whose families do not have the financial ability to raise them,” said Aziza Kermani, a Kabul resident.
“I came here to this hospital to help these children,” said Fatima, a Kabul resident.
Some mothers who survived have traumatic memories. One of them, Khadija, said she had to wait to hug her newborn baby for the first time because the attack happened just hours after he was born. She said the intensive care ward was filled with smoke and bullets, but she and her child survived and were reunited after the attack.
“Suddenly, there was a heavy battle. I was hiding under a table,” said Khadija.
“When the alarm rang, all doctors went into one room. After that, the attackers entered the building and detonated bombs near the windows,” said another mother who survived.