9 MSF workers killed in suspected US air attack in Afghanistan – CNN
MSF says bombing continued for more than 30 minutes after alerting U.S. and Afghan military
U.S. says it bombed the area and may have caused “collateral damage”
More than 100 patients and 80 MSF staff were present when the bombs fell
The U.S. military is investigating whether a U.S. AC-130 gunship was responsible for Saturday morning’s attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the Afghanistan city of Kunduz, according to a U.S. military official.
An AC-130 gunship was in the area, firing at the Taliban in defense of U.S. special operations troops who were advising Afghan troops in an ongoing fight against the Taliban, the official said.
The official emphasized this is initial information and that an investigation into what happened and the Taliban presence in the area is ongoing.
[Original story, published at 7:57 a.m. ET]
Airstrikes killed nine staff workers of medical aid group Doctors Without Borders in the Afghan city of Kunduz, the charity said. U.S. forces said they conducted airstrikes in the area.
At least 37 people were injured in the aerial bombings early Saturday, including 24 of the medical aid organization’s staff, said the group known internationally as Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Thirty people are unaccounted for, MSF said, and it expects the number of people killed or injured to go up.
When the aerial attack occurred, 105 patients and their caretakers were in the hospital. More than 80 MSF international and national staff were present.
MSF gave its location
The aid group said it warned U.S. and Afghan authorities of the hospital’s location ahead of time.
Bombing continued for more than 30 minutes after the aid group notified military officials it was under attack, it said.
“MSF also wishes to clarify that all parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location (GPS coordinates) of the MSF facilities,” the aid group said in a statement.
It said the location was communicated as recently as Thursday. “MSF urgently seeks clarity on exactly what took place and how this terrible event could have happened,” the group said.
U.S. forces confirmed carrying out a nearby strike early Saturday “against individuals threatening the force,” Army spokesman Col. Brian Tribus said.
The strike “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility,” he said in a statement. The military is investigating.
Mourning and condemnation
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