Student Midwives Flee to Safe Room as Extremists Attack Afghan School

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JALALABAD, Afghanistan — Extremists attacked a faculty for midwives in jap Afghanistan on Saturday morning, forcing its younger feminine college students to flee or take refuge in a fortified secure room on its grounds, in accordance to Afghan authorities and witnesses on the scene.

The assault started about 11 a.m. on the Midwifery Training Center in Jalalabad, as assailants believed to embody suicide bombers as properly as males armed with computerized weapons laid siege to the varsity. Five explosions have been heard on the website, which is within the middle of town in Nangarhar Province.

Gunfire may very well be heard after the preliminary assault, and police particular forces items arrived on the scene. Fighting was persevering with 4 hours after the assault started. A spokesman for the Health Ministry, Inamullah Miakhel, stated three folks had been wounded within the battle, all males.

The college had 67 to 70 college students in a two-year midwifery program, most of them 18 to 19 years outdated. They lived in a dormitory within the middle’s compound. Mr. Miakhel stated 12 of the scholars have been trapped inside.

A police spokesmen initially stated that each one the younger girls had been evacuated efficiently. Witnesses and officers on the scene, nevertheless, stated that many had been unable to escape however have been believed to have reached a secure room.

Although there was no speedy declare of accountability, the assault bore hallmarks of the Islamic State, whose native affiliate is especially active in Nangarhar and liable for many suicide assaults there.

The Taliban have not too long ago disavowed attacks on civilian targets and have lengthy kept away from concentrating on medical services or girls’s establishments. The Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied the group was behind the assault in a WhatsApp message.

The midwife middle is run by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health, and trains midwives for distant districts, the place docs are uncommon and most girls won’t go to male docs.

It’s shut to one other midwifery college in Jalalabad that’s run by the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee. That group’s nation director, Terje M. Watterdal, stated the younger girls there have been all secure however have been in a secure room.

“Everyone is in lockdown now,” Mr. Watterdal stated. “But everyone is safe. It’s just difficult to know how it will develop.”

Follow Rod Nordland on Twitter: @rodnordland.

Fahim Abed contributed reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan.

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