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Saturday, 3 October 2015

Airstrike Kills 19 at Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan

An air strike in northern Afghanistan has killed at least 19 people, including three children, at a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the charity group said Saturday.

Twelve staff members are among the dead at the hospital in Kunduz after what the medical group described as "sustained bombing" that continued for more than "30 minutes after American and Afghan military officials in Kabul and Washington were first informed" of the air strikes.   

The U.S. military has acknowledged it conducted a pre-dawn airstrike in the area that may have caused collateral damage to a medical facility.

A spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Brian Tribus says that “individuals threatening the force” were the target of the airstrike.

The U.S. secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, offered his “thoughts and prayers to everyone affected,” in a statement Saturday. “A full investigation into the tragic incident is underway in coordination with the Afghan government,” Carter said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has expressed his "deep sorrow" over the killing and wounding of civilians, including MSF staff, said a statement issued in Kabul.  It added that the commander of the foreign forces, Gen. John Campbell, in a telephone call to Ghani provided explanations about the incident and offered condolences to those affected.  "Both the president and Gen. Campbell agreed to launch a joint and thorough investigation," the statement said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan strongly condemned the attack, saying that from its perspective “targeting of any medical facility or personnel working in health care is unacceptable regardless of the circumstances.” A spokesperson for the committee told VOA that ICRC was “very shocked, very saddened, by this tragic news.”..................http://www.voanews.com/content/doctors-without-borders-staff-killed-in-afghanistan/2989983.html
 3/10/15

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