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One Family’s Toll on a Cruel Day: 7 Children With Amputated Legs

The unpaved paths in the children’s village are far from wheelchair friendly. But for those with above the knee amputations, a wheelchair is the only near-term prospect for mobility, the doctors said. So far, hospital officials and family members said, they have not had any offers of outside help.

“We have not received anything from anyone yet, or even been approached by anyone,” said Mohammad Hanif, 30, whose son Aman, 5, lost his right leg.

The two girls who survived — Marwa, 4, and her cousin Rabia, 7 — writhed in pain on their hospital beds, trying to find a comfortable way to sit or lie with their bandaged stumps. Their aunt, Lol Pora, who was also Shafiqullah’s mother, sat consoling them in the hospital bed they shared.

As they cried, the other children began crying as well. Some wanted to go home, some were in pain, some said they were hungry.

The family’s home village remains on the front lines of the fight between the insurgents and the government. The district police chief, Abdul Rahman Khalizay, said the rocket the children picked up was fired by the Taliban in the encounter with the Afghan National Army.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, blamed the Afghan police. “This incident had nothing to do with us,” he said. “We don’t have any spare shells to leave lying around.”

The family, living between the two sides, is reticent on who is responsible.

“It just goes on,” Mr. Gul said. “We don’t know whom to blame.”

Source: NYT > World

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