Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN)The boy was left for nearly 20 hours before the ambulance could reach him. He was unable to move because a bullet had torn a hole through his abdomen. When the fighting finally subsided, he was driven the 130 kilometers north from Ghazni to Kabul and a specialized hospital that treats the war-wounded.
The boy, 12, became one of 50 cases the Italian nongovernmental organization Emergency treats on a daily basis in what has become the surgical center’s busiest year on record.
At the entrance to the children’s ward, a whiteboard lists the injuries: shrapnel, mine, shrapnel, shrapnel, mine, shrapnel, bullet, bullet, bullet, shrapnel, shotgun, bullet, shrapnel, bullet, bullet, bullet, bullet. Children account for about 30% of all patients the hospital treats.