Afghan gunman kills three Americans at Kabul hospital

BY Sarah Corapi  April 24, 2014 at 2:52 PM EST

Cure International Hospital in Kabul. Photo by Cure International/Flickr

Cure International Hospital in Kabul. Photo by Cure International/Flickr

A shooting at a hospital in Kabul Thursday morning claimed the lives of three American physicians and wounded one American nurse — one of a recent string of attacks against foreign civilians in Afghanistan.

The assailant — an Afghan security guard — opened fire at the Cure International Hospital, a center that provides child and maternal health care and is affiliated with a U.S. Christian charity of the same name. After the attack, the security guard shot himself and was treated at the hospital before being taken into Afghan custody, according to Cure International’s chief financial officer Mark Knecht.

Among those killed include a father and son visiting the hospital. The third, Dr. Jerry Umanos, was a Chicago pediatrician who had worked in Kabul for seven years.

“They were not the people carrying guns, they did not have military uniforms, they came here under immense pressure and were here only to serve the people of Afghanistan,” Afghan Health Minister Suriya Dalil said of the victims.

“This was an inhumane and brutal action, and unfortunately will impact our health services.”

The gunman’s motives remain unknown, but the incident marks the second time in less than a month that a member of the Afghan security forces has targeted foreign civilians.

Cure International says that it “remains committed to serving the Afghan people,” and calls for prayers “for the families of the victims and those affected by the shooting as well as the ongoing peace of Afghanistan.”