Only surviving son of AFP reporter killed in Afghanistan attack discharged from hospital

KABUL (AFP) - The only surviving child of slain AFP reporter Sardar Ahmad has been discharged from hospital as he continues to recover from bullet wounds to his skull, chest and thigh.

Abuzar Ahmad, who turns three next Monday, was wounded on March 20 in an attack on a Kabul hotel that killed his father, mother Homaira, sister Nilofar, six, and brother Omar, five.

In total nine civilians were killed in the assault on the Serena hotel that came two weeks before Afghanistan's presidential election, where millions defied Taliban threats of violence to vote.

"The family decided, with the doctors' approval, to discharge Abuzar from hospital to see how he responds to a full family environment," said a family member who asked to remain unnamed. "He still needs to go back to hospital regularly for treatment."

Abuzar's relatives hope that moving out of Kabul's Italian-run Emergency Hospital will give the boy a chance to recover away from the attention of media and well-wishers.

Family members have begun the process for his immigration to Canada, where he can receive the long-term treatment he needs.

Abuzar has relatives in Toronto and is to be accompanied to Canada by his guardians, a young couple from the extended family.

The tragedy occurred ahead of the historic election to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai.

More than seven million Afghans voted on April 5 in a show of defiance against the Taleban who had threatened to disrupt the country's first democratic transition of power.

First partial results show former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah slightly ahead of his main rival, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, in the race to succeed incumbent Hamid Karzai.

As well as Mr Ahmad and his family, another Afghan and four foreigners - including two Canadians and a Paraguayan - were killed by four teenage gunmen in the Serena attack.

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