19 killed in US air raid on MSF hospital in Kunduz City
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): A dozen health workers and eight patients were killed in a predawn US airstrike on a Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) hospital in the capital of northern Kunduz province, officials said on Saturday.
The organisation said: “It is with deep sadness that we confirm the death of 12 MSF staff and eight patients during the bombing last night of MSF’s hospital in Kunduz. Latest update is that 37 people were seriously wounded.”
Nineteen MSF employees are among the injured. Some of the most critically injured were transferred to a hospital in Puli Khumri. A number of patients and staff remain unaccounted for
“MSF condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific bombing of its hospital full of staff and patients,” MSF said, adding it had shared with all parties to the conflict the precise location (GPS Coordinates) of its hospital.
The bombing continued for more than 30 minutes after American and Afghan military officials in Kabul and Washington were first informed. MSF sought clarity on how the terrible event could have happened.
“MSF wishes to clarify that all parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location (GPS Coordinates) of the MSF facilities -hospital, guesthouse, officeand an outreach stabilization unit in Chardara,” MSF added.
Public Health Director Dr. Saad Mukhtar told Pajhwok Afghan News the hospital was bombarded after Taliban misinformed the government that insurgents were under treatment there.
He said the hospital building was destroyed and several Afghan and foreign health workers, civilians and security personnel under treatment were killed in the bombard that took place around 2.am Friday night.
Mukhtar added the injured were shifted to another portion of the hospital. Some others survivors of the bombing were transferred to the Kunduz Zonal Hospital.
Meanwhile, US military spokesman Brian Tribus said they had struck a Taliban hideout in Kunduz City. "US forces conducted the airstrike at 2:15am against individuals threatening the force. The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility. This incident is under investigation."
For their part, the Taliban said several doctors and patients had been killed or wounded in the incident. They insisted no insurgent was under treatment at the medical facility.
The MSF said its medical team was working around the clock to do everything possible for the safety of patients and workers of the trauma centre. The organisation started working in Afghanistan in 1980. In Kunduz, both national and international staff work together to provide healthcare.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.