(MNN) — Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers launched a tightly coordinated
attack across Kabul, Afghanistan, around lunchtime on Tuesday.
the buildings targeted were the U.S. Embassy and the neighboring NATO
headquarters. The message of the
insurgents: they had the ability to infiltrate even the mostly heavily-fortified areas in Afghanistan.
five hour siege left people rattled, but with remarkably few casualties,
considering the possibilities of what could have been.
CURE International has a hospital in Kabul, about five kilometers
from the Embassy. CURE COO Mark Bush
says first of all, "The hospital has not had to close; we continue to
operate. Most of the staff has gone home for the day, but for the most part, we
are secure there."
Although the hospital was not in the cross-hairs, the staff had to run the gauntlet to get
home. "Most of our expatriates do live much closer to the U.S. Embassy, and
so some of the violence that has occurred was within earshot of our
neighborhood. The good news is that things are secure, and everybody was able to
get back home safely."
Kabul Executive Director Joe Davis-Fleming wrote, "We were all escorted
home by armed guards, and we all made it home quickly with no problems. We will
continue to monitor the situation, but it appears that we should be able to
safely return to the hospital tomorrow (Wednesday) morning."
While the attacks seem to have come to an end, it seems prudent to adjust the security
protocols. Bush explains, "We
will change our security patterns as far as transporting to the city tomorrow
and the next several days until they are confident that this insurgent activity
has been brought back under control."
CURE International's presence has been a beacon of hope in that
war-weary country. Due to a severe lack
of trained nurses and doctors–particularly female practitioners, there simply
weren't enough personnel to meet the
overwhelming medical needs. As a result,
the health of women and children was among the worst in the world.
In 2005, CURE accepted an invitation from the Afghan Ministry of
Public Health to assume control of both a partially-restored hospital and a
nearby outpatient clinic in Kabul. By
the end of their first year, both facilities were fully operational and serving
more than 8,000 patients each month.
Today, CURE International Hospital of Kabul is one of the leading medical institutions in
Afghanistan. For the staff, their sense
of purpose drives them forward, in spite of the risks. However, "Anytime there is insurgent
activity, it just brings to mind the unstable community that does exist within
Kabul," says Bush. "We would certainly appreciate all the prayers related not only to our
expatriate staff who is dedicated to being to be there fulltime, but also to the
staff up in the hospital."
There are nearly 300 Afghanistan workers employed by CURE
International. Given the target scenario of this week, says Bush, "It's
a risk for them as well to be working at an American-run organization. So
anytime activity like this occurs, where an insurgent group tries to make a
statement, it calls to mind all of the reasons why they're working at this
hospital still works to transform the lives of children with disabilities and
their families in Afghanistan through medical and spiritual healing. CURE not shy about the hope of Christ; however, "Our ministry is a ministry of healing and proclamation, but
within the context of the laws of the country that we're operating in."