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Son of slain AFP reporter leaves intensive care: doctors

© 2014 AFP

25 March 2014

The only surviving child of Sardar Ahmad, the AFP reporter killed with the rest of his family in an attack on a Kabul hotel, left intensive care on Tuesday after treatment for multiple bullet wounds.

Ahmad's youngest son, Abuzar, aged two years and 10 months, received a bullet fragment in the head as well as chest, arm and thigh wounds when four gunmen opened fire in the Serena hotel in the Afghan capital on Thursday evening.

He was moved out of the intensive care unit at the Italian-run Emergency Hospital in Kabul to a standard ward after making rapid progress in recent days, doctors said.

"He is out of danger but this kind of head injury can give complications in the future," Luca Radaelli, medical coordinator at the hospital, told AFP.

"It is too early to understand the complete outlook for him. He is now under standard antibiotic treatment."

Abuzar's left leg will be put in plaster to help heal a femur fracture.

A bullet fragment was removed from his skull when he was rushed into the operating theatre shortly after the attack, which the Afghan government has blamed on Pakistani intelligence agencies.

Ahmad, 40, his wife Homaira, six-year-old daughter Nilofar and five-year-old son Omar were among nine civilians gunned down in the assault.

"Abuzar will still need a lot of medical support, assistance and an extremely quiet environment to recover," said Faisal Khan, one of Sardar's brothers, who flew in from Sweden.

"We sincerely thank everybody who has showed such interest. Your prayers have been heard, but he still has a long way to go and he also needs your prayers for the future."

On Tuesday, Taliban militants launched a suicide attack on an election commission office in Kabul, as 15 people died in violence around Afghanistan less than a fortnight before the country's presidential poll.

Five people were killed when the insurgents stormed an office of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in the west of the capital.

The insurgents have vowed a campaign of violence to disrupt the ballot on April 5, urging their fighters to attack polling staff, voters and security forces in the run-up to election day.