- MSF Says US Planes May Have Attacked Staff Fleeing Kunduz Hospital
by Michael Martina and Doina Chiacu, writing by James Mackenzie; editing Tom Heneghan and Christian Plumb), http://www.reuters.com/
Medical aid group Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said Thursday it was hard to believe a U.S. strike on an Afghan hospital last month was a mistake, as it had reports of fleeing people being shot from an aircraft.
“All the information that we’ve provided so far shows that a mistake is quite hard to understand and believe at this stage,” MSF General Director Christopher Stokes told reporters while presenting the group’s internal report on the incident.
The report said many staff described “seeing people being shot, most likely from the plane” as they tried to flee the main hospital building, which was under attack by U.S. military aircraft.
At least 30 people were killed when the hospital in Kunduz was hit by a powerful U.S. attack aircraft on Oct. 3 while Afghan government forces were battling to regain control of the northern city from Taliban forces who had seized it days earlier.
The United States has said the hospital was hit by accident and two separate investigations by the U.S. and NATO are underway. But the circumstances of the incident, one of the worst of its kind during the 14-year conflict, are still unclear.
Stokes told reporters the organisation was still awaiting an explanation from the U.S. military. “From what we are seeing now, this action is illegal in the laws of war,” Stokes said. “There are still many unanswered questions, including who took the final decision, who gave the targeting instructions for the hospital.”