A baby wounded in a shooting that killed his mother in Afghanistan’s Kandahar city has a 50 per cent chance of survival, doctors told The National.

The baby’s father, Assadullah, chief of criminal investigations with the police, said the attack happened as he was driving his wife to hospital after she went into labour.

“I was outside when I got a call that the mother of my children who was pregnant was feeling sick, so I rushed home and took her to the hospital. Our little daughter also came with us,” said Assadullah, 30.

He said that while driving to the hospital, he noticed they were being followed by men on motorcycles.

He took out his gun because of the increase in attacks on Afghan security officials.

“I changed routes to shake them off, but they caught up to us and started shooting,” Assadullah said. “Before I could react they had shot me in the leg twice.

“I could hear my wife saying she had also been shot. I thought, ‘If I stop the car they will get me’, so I kept driving until I reached the hospital.”

He received treatment while his wife was taken for an emergency Caesarean section.

“The mother didn’t make it and the baby had to be born prematurely and is suffering from many issues,” Dr Jalaluddin Momand, a paediatrician, told The National.

The baby is in a critical condition.

“The oxygen and glucose hasn’t reached his brain and usually in cases like this, even in developed countries like the US, the chances of survival are about 50 per cent,” Dr Momand said.

There has been a sharp increase in assassination attempts in Afghanistan since the US signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February last year.

The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission recorded 2,250 assassinations – an increase of 169 per cent since 2019 – in 2020.

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