Swedish organization: Raid on Afghan health clinic kills 3

AP News
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Posted: Feb 18, 2016 10:44 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Swedish non-government organization said Thursday that two patients and a caretaker were killed during an overnight raid by Afghan forces on one of its clinics in the volatile Wardak province, condemning the assault as a violation of humanitarian principles.

But an Afghan provincial said the hospital was in Taliban-controlled territory and that the victims were members of the insurgent group.

Akhtar Mohammad Tahiri, chief of the Wardak provincial council, said Afghan special forces killed four people at the clinic and arrested three, including a doctor.

In Stockholm, Jorgen Holmstrom, country manager for the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, said the attack, apparently carried out by the Afghan National Army, was a "gross violation of humanitarian principles and the Geneva Convention."

Holmstrom added that that his organization has worked in Afghanistan since 1980 as "a neutral party" and that all three victims were Afghan citizens. "The patients who are being treated at our clinics have the right to be protected," he said.

Tahiri, the Wardak official, said the raid on the Swedish clinic took place in Tangi Saidain district and that two people were also wounded in the raid.

Bjorn Lindh, a Swede in Kabul who works as coordinator for the organization, told Swedish daily Expressen that the victims included a 15-year-old boy. The three were taken outside the clinic, mistreated and eventually killed, Lindh was quoted by the paper as saying.

Lindh said the head of the 10-bed clinic was held the premises were searched.

All 23 employees with the clinic in Tangi Saidain were Afghanis, Expressen reported.

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Olsen reported from Copenhagen, Denmark.