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Syria: Gunmen Attack Hospital Where Newborn Was Saved From Earthquake

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Syria: Gunmen attack hospital where newborn was saved from earthquake

(CTN NEWS) – SYRIA – A hospital official said on Tuesday that gunmen attacked the facility where a baby girl was being treated after being born under the debris of her family’s earthquake-damaged home.

The official also added that the intruders assaulted the facility’s director and beat him.

Aya, Arabic for “a sign from God,” was the newborn who was the subject of reports on social media that Monday night’s incident was an effort to abduct. Aya has been in the hospital since shortly after the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6th.

The catastrophe claimed the lives of her parents, four siblings, and mother.

Since her birth, Aya has received constant attention and assistance offers from people all around the world.

A baby girl who was born under the rubble caused by an earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey receives treatment inside an incubator at a children’s hospital in the town of Afrin, Aleppo province, Syria, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed)

The official, who requested anonymity out of concern for retaliation, claimed that the hospital’s director had expelled a nurse who had been photographing Aya because he believed he was plotting to kidnap her.

Hours later, the official claimed that the nurse came back with armed men who thrashed the director. Aya has been breastfed, as her doctor previously advised, by the director’s wife.

According to the official, when the gunmen arrived at the hospital, they informed the local police officers guarding the girl that they were after the director for firing their comrade and were not interested in Aya.

The doctor had earlier said that other people had come forward pretending to be Aya’s relatives, which prompted local police officers to protect her.

Mourners bury family members who died in a devastating earthquake that rocked Syria and Turkey at a cemetery in Jinderis, Aleppo province, Syria, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.(AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed)

After the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria, Aya’s mother passed away shortly after giving birth to her. Her father and her four siblings perished in the earthquake as well.

According to Aya’s great-uncle Saleh al-Badran, she might be able to leave the hospital as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday. He added the infant would be raised by her paternal aunt, who gave birth recently and survived the earthquake.

More than 10 hours after the earthquake struck, rescuers in the northern Syrian town of Jinderis came across the dark-haired infant while sifting through the rubble of the five-story apartment complex where her parents resided.

The newborn remained attached to her mother, Afraa Abu Hadiya, by her umbilical cord despite being buried beneath the concrete. The newborn was urgently taken to the hospital in nearby Afrin, where she has been looked after.

A rescuer carries a baby girl after pulling her from the rubble caused by an earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey in the town of Jinderis, Syria, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.(Via AP)

Numerous cities and towns home to millions of people were turned to twisted metal and broken pieces by the terrible earthquake that slammed southern Turkey and northern Syria and was followed by a series of earthquakes.

More bodies are expected to be discovered as search teams continue to find victims, bringing the death toll to more than 35,000.

In the town of Jinderis, where Aya’s family had been residing since 2018, the earthquake demolished dozens of housing units.

According to al-Badran, a relative of Aya’s father, Abdullah Turki Mleihan, departed his native Khsham village in eastern Deir el-Zour province in 2014 after the Islamic State organization took control of it.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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