13:22 GMT11 August 2020
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    US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad announced Thursday evening that an American assessment on recent violence in Afghanistan has attributed two attacks to the Islamic State Khorasan - including a deadly attack on a Kabul maternity ward.

    "The USG [US government] has assessed [Daesh] conducted the horrific attacks on a maternity ward and a funeral earlier this week in Afghanistan," the ambassador said via Twitter on May 14, referencing the Tuesday massacre committed by gunmen who killed at least two newborns and 12 mothers and nurses at a Kabul hospital. 

    "[Daesh] has demonstrated a pattern for favoring these types of heinous attacks against civilians and is a threat to the Afghan people and to the world."

    "[Daesh] also opposes a peace agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, and seeks to encourage sectarian war as in Iraq and Syria," he said, arguing that Daesh is attempting to delay peace in the region. 

    Despite Washington linking the Afghanistan-based Daesh franchise to the event, the group has not claimed responsibility in the attack - which is an uncommon occurrence, because the militant group has been known to even lay claim to violent acts carried out by other individuals or organizations. 

    Prior to the US ambassador's announcement, the Afghan government blamed the Taliban for the May 12 massacre. However, the Taliban has denied involvement in the attack. 

    Human Rights Watch has dubbed the maternity ward murder spree an "unspeakable" act and "apparent war crime," while the United Nations has called for the perpetrators to "face justice." 

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    Tags:
    terror, Daesh, Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, hospital, maternity hospitals, terrorism, Kabul, Afghanistan
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