May 2, 2014

​U.S. Doctors Killed at Afghan Hospital Run by Christian Charity

and KIM HJELMGAARD ©2014 USA Today

An Afghan security guard allegedly shot and
killed three Americans at a hospital in Kabul on April 24. The three killed
were doctors, including a visiting father and son.

Another doctor and a U.S. nurse were wounded in
the attack.

District Police Chief Hafiz Khan said a guard
suddenly turned his weapon on the staff he was supposed to be protecting at
Cure International Hospital and started shooting.

"Five doctors had entered the compound of
the hospital and were walking toward the building when the guard opened fire on
them," said Kanishka Bektash Torkystani, a spokesman for the Ministry of
Health. "Three foreign doctors were killed."

Cure officials confirmed that Dr. Jerry Umanos,
a pediatrician from Chicago who moved to Afghanistan in 2005, was one of the
three Americans killed.

"We may never know the number of future
doctors, teachers, or law enforcement officers who were given the chance to
live full and healthy lives because of the work of the CURE International
Hospital staff and the service and sacrifice of Jerry and his family,"
Dale Brantner, Cure's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Two of the dead were a visiting father and son,
Minister of Health Soraya Dalil said. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul confirmed three
Americans were killed but did not provide further information.

The White House released a statement condemning
the attack, calling it "despicable and cowardly."

"The United States continues to strongly
support those in Afghanistan who abhor this violence and are working to build a
peaceful, prosperous future for themselves," National Security Council
spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in the statement.

Cure International, which describes its mission
as "healing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom of
God," operates the hospital. Officials said the security guard was
not an employee but part of a detail assigned to protect the hospital.

The organization did not say whether it would
change practices and pull back aid workers from Afghanistan in the wake of the
shooting. "Cure International remains committed to serving the Afghan
people," the group said in a statement.

Cure International said the gunman shot and
wounded himself after opening fire and was initially treated at the Cure
hospital before being transferred to government custody.

The Cure International Hospital specializes in
child and maternity health. Cure is a non-profit organization that operates in
29 countries.