US airstrike hits hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
An MSF hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz was hit and partially destroyed by an aerial attack that killed at least 22 people in the early hours of Saturday. The US military has admitted it conducted a strike in the vicinity of the hospital.
05 October 201513:48 GMT
Moscow has strongly condemned the US airstrike in Afghanistan that killed 22 people at a hospital in Kunduz, stressing that it was inflicted despite the coalition forces being notified of the facility’s exact location.
“We find it puzzling that the airstrike took place despite the international coalition being notified of the exact coordinates of the hospital to prevent possible attacks,” Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said on Monday.
- 13:45 GMT
Pentagon has admitted its airstrike erroneously hit a hospital in Afghanistan that killed 22 people, adding that the Afghan military had requested the use air power.
The top commander of US and coalition forces in Afghanistan, General John F. Campbell, said that Afghan forces told US forces on the ground that they needed air support.
So US forces proceeded with the strike, which led to several civilians being “accidentally struck,” he said.
04 October 201519:41 GMT
MSF General Director Christopher Stokes said the charity was “disgusted” by statements made by Afghan officials who justified the attack by saying that the MSF hospital in Kunduz had been used as a ‘Taliban base,’
“These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital with more than 180 staff and patients inside because they claim that members of the Taliban were present.
“This amounts to an admission of a war crime. This utterly contradicts the initial attempts of the US government to minimize the attack as ‘collateral damage.’”
- 18:49 GMT
The US Department of Defense has promised a transparent investigation into the airstrike that hit the MSF hospital in Kunduz. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters that at the moment he cannot establish the connection between the US-led airstrikes and the bombing of the MSF hospital.
“We do know that American air assets ... were engaged in the Kunduz vicinity, and we do know that the structures that – you see in the news – were destroyed,” Carter said, as cited by Reuters. “I just can't tell you what the connection is at this time.”
- 15:24 GMT
MSF are demanding that an independent international body investigate the airstrike that killed 22 people at the hospital in Kunduz. An official from the medical charity said they could not trust a US military probe into the destruction of the hospital.
"Under the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed, MSF demands that a full and transparent investigation into the event be conducted by an independent international body," MSF General Director Christopher Stokes said in a statement.
"Relying only on an internal investigation by a party to the conflict would be wholly insufficient," he added.
Under the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed, a transparent investigation must be conducted by an independent intl body— MSF International (@MSF) October 4, 2015
- 15:19 GMT
MSF has now confirmed that 22 people, including 12 staff members, have died following the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz.
- 14:35 GMT
NATO says it hopes to wrap up an investigation into the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz within “a matter of days,” the alliance said in a statement, as cited by Reuters. The organization is carrying out a preliminary multi-national investigation to determine whether an airstrike it conducted hit the medical facility, which left 19 people dead.
- 08:36 GMT
Medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres denied that shortly before the bombing Taliban fighters were inside its hospital, firing from there on Afghan and NATO forces.
"The gates of the hospital compound were closed all night so no one that is not staff, a patient or a caretaker was inside the hospital when the bombing happened," Medecins Sans Frontieres said in a statement, cited by Reuters.