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Red Crescent volunteers rush to help victims of Kabul’s second deadliest attack

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Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

October 9, 2007

By Ali Hakimi, International Federation Information Officer, in Kabul

The injured bodies were surrounded by blood. Most of them were labourers and national military soldiers. They were waiting for their work day to start in Baharestan in the Karete Parvan district of Kabul without a clue as to what would happen next. At around seven a.m., a military bus stopped to pick up staff. A massive explosion rocked the scene. Several kilometres away, people heard it. This was the second deadliest suicide attack in Kabul since 2001, with about 30 people killed and 30 more injured.

At that moment, Rohollah Qoreshi, a community-based first aid volunteer from the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and his friend Mohammad Nasir were on their way to the city centre.

“We rushed to the injured people immediately. Fortunately, there were three others Red Crescent first aid volunteers whose homes were in that area. They brought some first aid materials and we did our best to help the wounded people,” recounts Rohollah. “I had a feeling full of sadness while I was helping the people. I was not able to stop my tears.”

Rohollah and his four friends bandaged the injured and sent them to the hospital. One hospital physician speaking on local television remarked that prompt first aid care to the injured was very helpful.

“We were not permitted to help the wounded soldiers because of tight security in the area. I can not remember the exact number of injuries that we helped out, but I think it was about 20 people who received our aid,” Rohollah added.

Two horrifying attacks within a week have made Kabul feel even more insecure. The current attack occurred not far from the ARCS headquarters on Red Crescent Street, At least 13 people including several children have died and others were injured. The attack in the western part of the city appears to have targeted the policemen en route to work. However, the bus also contained the families of policemen, dropping their children off at school. BBC reports stated that as many as four children died.

The Red Crescent mobile health teams were the first to arrive in the area. Without any hesitation, they began helping people and transferring injured people and dead bodies to the hospital.

“First aid volunteers form the base of the National Society. They are the vital bridge between the Afghan Red Crescent and the community, and the National Society is able to help needy people through this channel,” said Abdulrahim Frotan, the ARCS community based first aid director.

The ARCS currently has 18,600 community-based first aid volunteers in 28 provinces of Afghanistan. They are trying to promote humanitarian values within the community with no expectation of payment. At times such as these, trained volunteer teams make a real difference in helping vulnerable people.

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Written by afghandevnews

October 10, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Security

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