Hospital strike probe: Obama wants to be kept posted
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): US President Barack Obama on Sunday said he had asked the Pentagon to keep him posted on investigations into the airstrike on the MSF hospital in Kunduz City.
“On behalf of the American people, I extend my deepest condolences to the medical professionals and other civilians killed and injured in the tragic incident at the Doctors Without Borders hospital,” he said.
The Department of Defense had launched a full investigation, Obama said, awaiting the results of that inquiry before making a definitive judgment as to the circumstances surrounding tragedy.
“I have asked the Department of Defense to keep me apprised of the investigation and expect a full accounting of the facts and circumstances. Michelle and I offer our thoughts and prayers to all of the civilians affected by this incident, their families and loved ones.”
The US would continue to work closely with President Ashraf Ghani, his government and international partners to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as they worked to secure their country, Obama said.
In a separate statement, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the airstrike, noting hospitals and medical personnel were explicitly protected under international humanitarian law. He called for a “thorough and impartial investigation” into the attack to ensure accountability.
Médecins Sans Frontières has been operating the only hospital in Kunduz under extremely trying conditions. Ban commended the courageous and dedicated staff of the organisation and extended his deepest sympathies to the families of those killed and injured.
Former NATO chief Anders Fogh RasmussenI said: “Doctors without Borders perform extraordinary humanitarian work across the world, including in Afghanistan. They play an important role in helping create the conditions for a better future for the Afghan people.”
Meanwhile, Gen John F Campbell, commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, spoke with Ghani on the incident. “While we work to thoroughly examine the incident and determine what happened, my thoughts and prayers are with those affected.
“We continue to advise and assist our Afghan partners as they clear the city of Kunduz and surrounding areas of insurgents. As always, we will take all reasonable steps to protect civilians from harm,” Campbell said.
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