The Iranian Red Crescent Hospital, in Afghanistan’s western province of Nimroz, has been “forcibly closed” following a raid by a group of Taliban members on Sunday. Eyewitnesses, including staff members, reported that the Taliban members entered the premises and ordered everyone inside to leave the clinic immediately.
Zahra, a resident of Nimroz who had taken a relative to the hospital for treatment, said about 15 Taliban members stormed the clinic at about 10 am on Sunday, and ordered everyone to leave.
“There was no exception when it came to expelling people from the hospital,” she said.
Shabnam, a nurse employed at the hospital, revealed that the Taliban members were armed and identified themselves as representatives of the Taliban’s Justice Directorate. They demanded an immediate evacuation of the premises, instructing everyone to return to their homes.
Mohibullah, a medical practitioner at the hospital, expressed astonishment and said the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Hospital had recently spoken about the possible closure of the (Imam Khomeini) Relief Foundation in Nimroz. However, he said he had not expected the Taliban would resort to aggression and forcibly shut down the hospital, a vital healthcare provider for the local population.
Speaking to Amu, the head of the Taliban’s judicial body in Nimroz confirmed that a delegation from various Taliban departments, including the judiciary, had indeed been dispatched to seal off the Red Crescent Hospital. However, he declined to divulge any further details or provide reasons behind the closure of the facility.
He further stated that queries about the reasons for these actions should be directed toward other departments that had sought to close down the offices of the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation in different locations, including Herat and Kabul.
He added: “I am not privy to this information; kindly approach higher-ranking officials for clarification.”
These developments follow reports from the Iranian Embassy in Afghanistan last week, where the deputy ambassador confirmed that the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, an organization with a decade-long presence in Afghanistan, has been forced to cease operations by the Taliban in various provinces, including Kabul and Nimroz.