(KABUL, Afghanistan) — An Afghan security guard opened fire on a group of doctors at a Kabul, Afghanistan, hospital on Thursday, killing three male American doctors and leaving two other people wounded, officials said. A father and son were among the victims, ABC News has learned.
One of the deceased is Dr. Jerry Umanos of Chicago, his family told ABC News. Umanos is a pediatrician who worked at Chicago’s Lawndale Christian Health Center for 16 years before moving to Afghanistan in 2005 to work at CURE, according to ABC News’ Chicago station WLS.
Bruce Rowell, Chief Clinical Officer of Lawndale Christian Health Center, said that Umanos was a pediatrician who served many of the hospital staff’s own children.
“For nearly a decade, he has volunteered to train residents and see patients in Afghanistan,” Rowell said. “It’s a great loss for family, for those of us he worked with and people of Afghanistan. He was a loving, caring physician.”
The father and son who were killed were visiting Umanos, according to WLS.
Afghanistan’s Minister of Health Soraya Dalil did not name Umanos, but said this morning that “a child specialist doctor who was working in this hospital for the last seven years for the people of Afghanistan was killed and also two others who were here to meet him.”
According to Kabul police, a female American nurse was also wounded in the attack.
The victims’ identities were not yet known, but the U.S. Embassy in Kabul confirmed that they were Americans.
With great sadness we confirm that three Americans were killed in the attack on CURE Hospital. No other information will be released at…
— U.S. Embassy Kabul (@USEmbassyKabul) April 24, 2014
The shooting at Cure International Hospital in western Kabul was the latest attack on foreign civilians in Afghanistan’s capital this year.
The attacker was a member of the Afghan Police Protection Force assigned to guard the hospital, according to District Police Chief Hafiz Khan. He said the man’s motive was not yet clear.
A spokesman for CURE said Thursday that the gunman shot himself after the attack. He was in surgery at midday in the same medical facility under heavy police guard, according to Kanishka Bektash Torkystani, a Ministry of Health spokesman.
“Five doctors had entered the compound of the hospital and were walking toward the building when the guard opened fire on them,” Torkystani said. “Three foreign doctors were killed and two other doctors were wounded.”
The hospital is one of the most prominent in Kabul, partly because of its specialized offerings for women and children, including obstetrics and gynecology and surgery.
CURE International, a group based in Pennsylvania that runs a network of charity hospitals, says its Kabul hospital offers “a haven where (women) can safely deliver their child.”
The hospital shooting is the second “insider attack” by a member of Afghan security forces targeting foreign civilians this month. It is also the third attack on a U.S. organization in the past month.
A California based NGO called Roots of Peace was attacked in Kabul in March.
On April 4, an Afghan police officer shot two Associated Press staff working in the eastern province of Khost, killing photographer Anja Niedringhaus and wounding veteran correspondent Kathy Gannon.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Andreas Preuss, CNN