Airstrike Hits Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan – New York Times
KABUL, Afghanistan — A United States airstrike appeared to have badly damaged a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in the Afghan city of Kunduz early Saturday, killing at least nine hospital staff members and wounding dozens, including patients and staff.
The United States 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.”
Accounts differed as to whether there had been fighting around the hospital that might have precipitated the strike. 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.
Map | How the Taliban Are Advancing in Afghanistan The Taliban seized the provincial capital of Kunduz, the first major city they have won since 2001, more than a year after local Afghan officials began warning about the insurgents’ advances toward the city.
The hospital treated the wounded from all sides of the conflict, a policy that has long irked the Afghan security forces.
Video posted Saturday morning of the hospital grounds showed fires still burning, blackened walls, and, in one building, a collapsed ceiling. One side of one building appeared to be pockmarked by bullets or possibly shrapnel, suggesting that there could have been fighting there. But it was impossible to tell whether the marks were new or not.
Doctors Without Borders said at least nine members of its staff had been killed and 37 wounded, 19 of them hospital staff members. It 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.
“M.S.F. urgently seeks clarity on exactly what took place and how …Read More