MSF seeks explanation over raid on trauma centre
KABUL (Pajhwok): Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Reporters Without Borders, has condemned the bombing of its hospital in Kunduz province as a grave violation of international humanitarian law.
A dozen MSF staff members and at least seven patients, including three children, were killed in the US airstrike, which wounded 37 people, according to the international humanitarian organisation.
In a statement, MSF demanded a full and transparent account from the Coalition forces regarding the aerial bombing activities over Kunduz on Saturday morning. It also called for an independent investigation of the attack to ensure maximum transparency and accountability.
MSF President Meinie Nicolai called the raid a grave violation of international humanitarian law. “We demand total transparency from Coalition forces. We cannot accept that this horrific loss of life will simply be dismissed as collateral damage.”
MSF head of programmes in northern Afghanistan Heman Nagarathnam said they heard the plane circle round after the first strike. There was a pause and then more bombs fell.
“When I made it out from the office, the main hospital building was engulfed in flames. Patients who were unable to escape to the bunkers for safety burned to death as they lay in their beds.”
After the attack, the MSF team tried to save the lives of wounded colleagues and patients, setting up a makeshift operating theatre in an undamaged room of the trauma centre.
“This attack has cut off access to urgent trauma care for the population in Kunduz at a time when its services are most needed,” remarked Nicolai, asking the warring parties to respect civilians, health facilities and medical staff.
Since fighting broke out on Monday, MSF had treated 394 wounded. At the time of the attack there were 105 patients and their caretakers in the hospital, alongside more than 80 international and national staff.
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