Excerpts from a New York Times Story:
Airstrike Hits Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan
By Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, Oct 3, 2015
KABUL, Afghanistan — A US airstrike appeared to have badly damaged a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in the Afghan city of Kunduz early Saturday, killing at least 19 people, including patients and staff members, and wounding dozens.
The US military, in a statement, confirmed the 2:15 a.m. airstrike, saying that it had been targeting individuals “who were threatening the force” and that “there may have been collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.”
… Two hospital employees, an aide who was wounded in the bombing and a nurse who emerged unscathed, said that there had been no active fighting nearby and no Taliban fighters inside the hospital.
A Kunduz police spokesman, Sayed Sarwar Hussaini, insisted that Taliban fighters had entered the hospital and were using it as a firing position.
The hospital treated the wounded from all sides of the conflict, a policy that has long irked the Afghan security forces.
President Ashraf Ghani’s office released a statement Saturday evening saying that Gen. John F. Campbell, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, had apologized for the strike.
However, a statement from the American defense secretary, Ashton Carter, while calling the strike “tragic,” stopped short of an apology. “The area has been the scene of intense fighting the last few days,” Mr. Carter said. “U.S. forces in support of Afghan Security Forces were operating nearby, as were Taliban fighters.” …
Doctors Without Borders said at least 12 members of its staff and seven patients, including three children, had been killed and 37 wounded, 19 of them hospital staff members. The group described the hospital as “very badly damaged.”
In a statement, the aid group, also known by its French name, Médecins Sans Frontières, or M.S.F., accused the American military of continuing the bombing for 30 minutes after receiving phone calls telling military contacts that the hospital was being bombed. “All parties to the conflict including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location [GPS Coordinates] of the M.S.F. facilities – hospital, guesthouse, office,” the statement said.
The nurse, who asked not to be identified because he had instructions not to speak to reporters, said that two other nurses at the hospital had been killed by severe burns from the fires set off by the bombs. “Most of my colleagues died in the fire after the bombing,” he said.
Doctors Without Borders said 105 patients and caretakers had been at the hospital, along with 80 staff members. …
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, called for a full and transparent investigation. “This event is utterly tragic, inexcusable, and possibly even criminal,” Mr. al-Hussein said in a statement.
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