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Slain AFP reporter's son makes 'miracle' recovery

© 2014 AFP

27 March 2014

The only surviving child of Sardar Ahmad, the AFP reporter gunned down with the rest of his family in a Kabul hotel, has made a rapid recovery, doctors said Thursday in a development his family hailed as a "miracle".

Abuzar Ahmad, aged two years and 10 months, smiled and played with his toys in bed, one week after suffering bullet fragment wounds to his head, chest, arm and thigh.

Abuzar's father Sardar, mother Homaira, six-year-old sister Nilofar and five-year-old brother Omar were among nine civilians who died in the assault on the luxury Serena hotel.

"It is going very well. He is alert and well-orientated," Luca Radaelli, medical coordinator at the Italian-run Emergency Hospital in the Afghan capital, told AFP.

"There is no sign of complications, but he will need specialist assessment of any damage to his brain as well as a lot of rehabilitation physiotherapy."

Abuzar's head remained wrapped in bandages after a bullet fragment was removed from his skull when he was rushed into the operating theatre following the attack on Thursday evening.

"I saw him smile for the first time today, and he even gave a little punch," Bashir Mirzad, one of Abuzar's uncles, said after a family visit to the child's bedside.

"We are hopeful for the future after this tragedy. It's a miracle -- he's our hope."

Another Afghan and four foreigners -- two Canadians, an American and a Paraguayan -- were also killed by the four gunmen.

The attack was claimed by the Taliban, who have vowed to disrupt Afghan presidential elections on April 5, but the government has blamed Pakistani intelligence agencies.