Father, son from Illinois killed in Kabul attack

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AAA Apr. 26, 2014 3:32 PM ET
Father, son from Illinois killed in Kabul attack
By CARLA K. JOHNSON

This photo taken on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, shows from left, slain American Jon Gabel, his mother, his father Gary Gabel sitting with Mohammad Hadi Hadayati, Kabul University’s vice chancellor at Kabul University, in Kabul, Afghanistan. An Afghan police security guard opened fire on foreigners, on Thursday, April 24, 2014, as they entered the grounds of Cure International Hospital, killing three people, including pediatrician Dr. Jerry Umanos of Chicago. On Saturday, April 26, 2014, Kabul University vice chancellor Mohammad Hadi Hadayati identified the other two Americans killed in the attack as health clinic administrator Jon Gabel and his visiting father, Gary, also from the Chicago area. Jon Gabel’s wife, also an American, was wounded, Hadayati said. “We have lost a great man, a great teacher, a man who was here only to serve the Afghan people,†Hadayati said. Jon Gabel worked for the U.S.-based charity Morning Star Development and ran a health clinic at Kabul University, teaching computer science classes in his spare time, Hadayati said. Jon Gabel’s parents were visiting from Chicago, and Hadayati had lunch with the whole family the day before the attack. (AP Photo)

This photo taken on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, shows from left, slain American Jon Gabel, his mother, his father Gary Gabel sitting with Mohammad Hadi Hadayati, Kabul University’s vice chancellor at Kabul University, in Kabul, Afghanistan. An Afghan police security guard opened fire on foreigners, on Thursday, April 24, 2014, as they entered the grounds of Cure International Hospital, killing three people, including pediatrician Dr. Jerry Umanos of Chicago. On Saturday, April 26, 2014, Kabul University vice chancellor Mohammad Hadi Hadayati identified the other two Americans killed in the attack as health clinic administrator Jon Gabel and his visiting father, Gary, also from the Chicago area. Jon Gabel’s wife, also an American, was wounded, Hadayati said. “We have lost a great man, a great teacher, a man who was here only to serve the Afghan people,†Hadayati said. Jon Gabel worked for the U.S.-based charity Morning Star Development and ran a health clinic at Kabul University, teaching computer science classes in his spare time, Hadayati said. Jon Gabel’s parents were visiting from Chicago, and Hadayati had lunch with the whole family the day before the attack. (AP Photo)

Mohammad Hadi Hadayati, Kabul University’s vice chancellor speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, April 26, 2014. An Afghan police security guard opened fire on foreigners, on Thursday, April 24, 2014, as they entered the grounds of Cure International Hospital, killing three people, including pediatrician Dr. Jerry Umanos of Chicago. On Saturday, Kabul University vice chancellor Mohammad Hadi Hadayati identified the other two Americans killed in the attack as health clinic administrator Jon Gabel and his visiting father, Gary, also from the Chicago area. Jon Gabel’s wife, also an American, was wounded, Hadayati said. “We have lost a great man, a great teacher, a man who was here only to serve the Afghan people,†Hadayati said. Jon Gabel worked for the U.S.-based charity Morning Star Development and ran a health clinic at Kabul University, teaching computer science classes in his spare time, Hadayati said. Jon Gabel’s parents were visiting from Chicago, and Hadayati had lunch with the whole family the day before the attack. (AP photo/Rahmat Gul)

Mohammad Hadi Hadayati, Kabul University’s vice chancellor shows a photograph of from left, slain American Jon Gabel, his mother, his father Gary Gabel who was also killed and himself, during an interview with the Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, April 26, 2014. An Afghan police security guard opened fire on foreigners, on Thursday, April 24, 2014, as they entered the grounds of Cure International Hospital, killing three people, including pediatrician Dr. Jerry Umanos of Chicago. On Saturday, Kabul University vice chancellor Mohammad Hadi Hadayati identified the other two Americans killed in the attack as health clinic administrator Jon Gabel and his visiting father, Gary, also from the Chicago area. Jon Gabel’s wife, also an American, was wounded, Hadayati said. “We have lost a great man, a great teacher, a man who was here only to serve the Afghan people,†Hadayati said. Jon Gabel worked for the U.S.-based charity Morning Star Development and ran a health clinic at Kabul University, teaching computer science classes in his spare time, Hadayati said. Jon Gabel’s parents were visiting from Chicago, and Hadayati had lunch with the whole family the day before the attack. (AP photo/Rahmat Gul)

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CHICAGO (AP) — A proud father visiting his son in Afghanistan spent what would become both men’s final days seeing the city where the younger man ran a small clinic, drinking tea with a university colleague and learning about his son’s work.

A planned visit to a Kabul hospital brought them together with a third Illinois man, a doctor who shared their interest in the Afghan people and a faith-driven commitment to helping others.

Gary Gabel of suburban Chicago and his son, John Gabel, were killed Thursday when an Afghan police security guard opened fire on the group as they entered the grounds of a hospital in Kabul. Also killed was Dr. Jerry Umanos, a pediatrician from Chicago. John Gabel’s wife, also an American, was wounded.

What prompted the guard to fire on the Americans was not clear, but recently there have been a number of so-called “insider attacks” — incidents in which Afghan security forces fire on their comrades or foreign trainers or civilians. Violence has increased in Afghanistan ahead of the NATO withdrawal and also in the weeks leading up to the country’s April 5 election.

Whether the couple’s young daughter, Laila, and John Gabel’s mother, Betty, were along for the visit to the Cure International Hospital also remains unclear. Umanos, who trained young doctors and

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