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Need international probe into US war-crime: Doctors Without Borders
October 5, 2015, 6:17 am

MSF staff in shock in one of the remaining parts of MSF's hospital in Kunduz, in the aftermath of sustained bombing 03 October 2015 [Image: MSF]

MSF staff in shock in one of the remaining parts of MSF’s hospital in Kunduz, in the aftermath of US airstrikes on 3 October 2015 [Image: MSF]

International medical charity MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières), also known as Doctors Without Borders, has said the aerial strike on its hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz by US forces is a “war crime”.

“MSF is disgusted by the recent statements coming from some Afghanistan government authorities justifying the attack on its hospital in Kunduz. These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital – with more than 180 staff and patients inside – because they claim that members of the Taliban were present,” said an MSF statement on Sunday.

“This amounts to an admission of a war crime. This utterly contradicts the initial attempts of the US government to minimise the attack as ‘collateral damage’,” it added.

The Afghan Interior Ministry has claimed Taliban fighters were in and around the hospital which necessitated the US airstrikes.

Christopher Stokes, General Director of MSF, debunked the theory.

“Not a single member of our staff reported any fighting inside the MSF hospital compound prior to the US airstrike on Saturday morning. The hospital was full of MSF staff, patients and their caretakers,” said Stokes.

“Under the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed, MSF demands that a full and transparent investigation into the event be conducted by an independent international body. Relying only on an internal investigation by a party to the conflict would be wholly insufficient,” he added referring to the enquiry ordered by US President Barack Obama on Sunday.

MSF has now demanded an independent international investigation.

22 people were killed during the airstrikes on the hospital on Saturday.

“At 2:10 AM local time on Saturday October 3, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) Trauma center in Kunduz was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged,” said a statement from MSF.

NATO conceded US forces may have been behind the attack.

Brian Tribus, a spokesman of the US Army, confirmed that US forces conducted an airstrike on Kunduz at 2:15 a.m.

Tibus said the strike “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility” and that the incident was under investigation.

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