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

Video courtesy of USA Today

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.

(Valerie Plesch and Kim Hjelmsgaard write for USA Today.)



  1. This is horrible. I’m sad for these distinguished doctors.
    What a loss to all involved. Needless and tragic.

    The Cure is doing Christian missionary proselytizing and that side of their work should be eliminated and become secular. It is difficult enough to help people without having to discuss with them their fantasies about devils, angels and the wrongness of the Quran.

    • I would agree with you if there was evidence CURE was doing missionary work. The organization is medical in nature. Although the funding and organization is religious in nature, there is nothing I found which indicates their work goes beyond setting up the hospitals and giving treatment.

      The hospital was a target because it was set up by foreign forces. To the Taliban, pretty much anything not of their own is fair game. Making life difficult for Afghanis is a way to exert power over them and to scare Western personnel out of the country.

      • These poor victims were killed by religion for Religion.
        My heart goes out to them far more than I can say – I was a believer once like them.

        But these Muslim murderers are only practicing the same poison advocated by the missionary workers:

        “Don’t question your religion – just have FAITH in it”
        Faith itself is the enemy and stories like this should convince everyone.
        The dull, unthinking surrender to faith – the religious mission from God.

        CURE is a missionary enterprise. And as such they advocate the unthinking method of faith – but for Christ instead of Allah.

        This is the cancer at the root of all religion.
        Faith has no mind, no checks and balances, no rationale.
        It will continue to brainlessly create victims until it is reasoned away.

        All missionary faith work for gods must end. It must be conducted for humanity only.

        Remember, the murderer on a mission from Allah
        was taught that his faith was humane, too!

        • From what I have seen any relation between CURE and proselytizing missionary work is only there by implication. They appear to emphasize providing medical care and using religious belief as a recruiting tool for finding doctors to work for them.

          I am willing to cut them some slack in that department absent anything showing they were trying to proselytize in an overt fashion. They were targetted because they were a western based aid facility. The doctors were religiously inspired to provide care, I will not disparage them on that basis. Its a bit much.

          OTOH if they were doing anything like distributing Bibles, praying with patients, holding Christian services…then my opinion would change.

          • I understand.
            I only wish people could see these tragedies as by-products of faith-based arguments. There is never a victory.

    • Edward Borges-Silva

      Agreed. To disparage a faith based organization which has just lost three valued members is both tactless and tasteless, and also beside the point.

    • NO!
      I’m not blaming the victims.
      I’m saying they are victims twice!!

      They were murdered by an Afghani Muslim – WHY? for being the wrong RELIGION while working in a Muslim country.

      These doctors had been brainwashed by a life in CHRIST to think that it is a good idea to spread the Gospel in Muslim countries where it is OUTLAWED.

      I have nothing but sympathy for these poor doctors and missionaries!
      Murdered for their RELIGION – BY a different RELIGION!

      They clearly believed in doing good for others!
      RELIGION killed them. RELIGION won’t let good things happen!

      Perhaps it is you who should consider that if there were no RELIGION they would still be alive helping people! I am not joking around when I say religion ruins everything.

      Next time you hear someone say “ALL YOU NEED IS FAITH – NOT THOUGHT” just think of what was going through that Afghani Muslim’s mind before he pulled the trigger for Allah!

      • Atheist Max, unless you are a mind reader, you do not know what was going through the mind of the shooter at the hospital. Atheists also go on insane shooting rampages, shooting others and then shooting themselves. And just because someone lives in a Muslim country it doesn’t mean that person is not an atheist at heart. It is what is in the heart that causes people to do cruel acts… or kind ones.

        • @David H,

          Yes, Atheists can do bad things.
          But they are not dictated to do so by a God nor do they recognize any forgiveness from a God (which amounts to a free pass) for their bad deeds.

          And that is probably why Atheists usually don’t do such bad things that they end up in prison.

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