Newborn Baby Survives After Being Shot Twice In Tragic Maternity Ward Massacre

by : Emily Brown on : 18 May 2020 08:32
Newborn Baby Survives After Being Shot Twice In Tragic Maternity Ward MassacreNewborn Baby Survives After Being Shot Twice In Tragic Maternity Ward MassacreFrench Medical Institute for Mothers and Children/Facebook

A newborn baby has survived after being shot twice during a maternity ward massacre that killed her mother. 

The shooting took place at the Dasht-e-Barchi Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, last Tuesday, May 12, when three armed men dressed as police officers entered the maternity ward and opened fire.

Baby girl Amina, who was just three hours old at the time, was in the ward with her mother, Nazia. The gunmen killed Nazia as well as at least 23 other people.


Amina was hit by two bullets, one of which shattered her right leg, and she underwent surgery the following day in an attempt to mend the injuries.

Other victims of the shooting included other mothers and babies. The gunmen were ultimately stopped and killed by hospital personnel after a total of five hours, during which time Afghan special forces were spotted rescuing babies from the hospital.


Newborns were evacuated and taken to other hospitals without their mothers, instead having their mother’s names written on tape and placed on their stomachs, The Times reports.

Some of the babies were taken in by Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital, the director of which, Dr. Noor ul-Haq Yousafzai, commented:

We set [Amina’s] fracture, so she will be able to walk when she grows up. But to see a newborn baby, just three hours old, shot twice. Everyone is shocked. This is inhuman.

It is beyond shocking that innocent babies could be killed, some before they even had a name. I cannot imagine anything more cowardly.


The baby girl’s surgery took place on the same day her mother was buried. Her father, Rafiullah, attended his wife’s funeral before returning to the hospital to see Amina.

The grieving father commented:

On Tuesday morning, my world, my life, ended. I am glad my daughter is alive, but my wife is gone.

Amina was the third child for Bibi Nazia and Rafiullah, who were already parents to a girl and a boy. Photos shared by the French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children show Amina undergoing her surgery.


The head of Médicins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), which runs the maternity ward in Dasht-e-Barchi Hospital, believes the attack on the mothers was planned, the BBC reports.

Frederic Bonnot, Head of Programmes for the charity in Afghanistan, said:

What I saw in the maternity demonstrates it was a systematic shooting of the mothers. They went through the rooms in the maternity, shooting women in their beds. It was methodical.

They came to kill the mothers.


No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, though Zalmay Khalilzad, the US negotiator on Afghanistan, blamed the so-called Islamic State.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Afghanistan, Dasht-e-Barchi, Kabul, newborn, Shooting


BBC and 2 others
  1. BBC

    Afghan maternity ward attackers 'came to kill the mothers'

  2. The Times

    Baby shot twice in Kabul hospital attack survives

  3. French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children- FMIC/Facebook