Doctors Without Borders: 9 killed after hospital hit during airstrikes – USA TODAY
Afghan security forces patrol in Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Friday.(Photo: Dehsabzi, AP)
Nine people were killed and another 37 people were injured after a Doctors Without Borders center in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was hit several times during sustained bombing, the organization said Saturday.
“We are deeply shocked by the attack, the killing of our staff and patients and the heavy toll it has inflicted in Kunduz,” Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) director of operations Bart Janssens said in a statement.
Later on Saturday, MSF Executive Director Jason Cone confirmed on Twitter the number of people who had died and were injured. Of the 37 injured, 19 of them were MSF staff. Further, many patients and staff remained unaccounted for, he said.
At the time of the bombing, there were 105 patients and their caretakers in the hospital, and another more than 80 MSF international and Afghan staff, the organization said.
Cone said U.S. and Afghan officials were informed of the precise GPS coordinates of the hospital, and that the precise location had been disclosed several times over many months.
The bombing in the area continued for another 30 minutes after officials had been told of the proximity to the hospital, Cone said.
“MSF urgently seeks clarity on exactly what took place and how this terrible event could have happened in Kunduz,” he tweeted.
Surgery activities in one of the remaining parts of the hospital in Kunduz in the aftermath of the bombings. (Photo: MSF handout, EPA)
Wahidullah Mayar, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health, tweeted that the hospital was “largely destroyed by fire” following an airstrike by U.S. forces.
The Afghan interior ministry said 10 to 15 militants were found hiding in the hospital, the BBC reported. The Taliban denied that any of its fighters were in the building.
“They are killed, all of the terrorists were killed, but we also lost doctors,” ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said.
According to media reports, that U.S. forces carried out a strike near the facility “against individuals threatening the force.” CNN and the Guardian reported that Army spokesman Col. Brian Tribus said the strikes “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.”
Tribus said the incident is under investigation, according to the Associated Press.
Doctors Without Borders said the stricken center had treated 394 people since fighting broke out Monday in Kunduz, when …Read More