Taliban were under treatment when MSF hospital bombed
KABUL (Pajhwok): Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) or Doctors without Borders on Thursday confirmed some Taliban militants wounded in clashes were under treatment at its hospital in Kunduz City when the US airstrike hit it.
MSF Afghanistan chief Guilhem Molinie told a press conference here that the fate of its 24 missing staff remained unknown.
He said the airstrike killed 12 MSF staff and another 24 staff members were missing. Ten patients were also killed and 37 others injured in the US airstrike on their hospital in Kunduz City, the capital of northern Kunduz province, he added.
“There were both injured Taliban and Afghan security personnel under treatment at the hospital,” Molinie said, adding that the organization did not differentiate in warring parties in providing health services and they treated patients from both Taliban and government.
“We work in any condition until we are assured no side would hurt us. We were not informed to leave the hospital before the airstrike,” Molinie said.
He said the hospital was currently inactive, but would be reactivated once working condition for their staff was ensured.
Christopher Stokes, the general director of the aid group, during a visit to Afghanistan, said the US airstrikes that destroyed their hospital was "a deliberate attack.”
"The trauma hospital ... came under multiple, precise and sustained air raids for more than an hour after we informed military officials in both Washington and Kabul," he said, arguing that the attack did not consist only of "collateral damage."
"This does not match at all what our team told us," he said. "They said very precise strikes on the main building of the hospital. ... It was a deliberate hit." He called for an independent inquiry into Saturday's airstrikes.
Three investigations are now under way into the bombing by US, NATO and Afghan forces.
US President Barack Obama on Wednesday called the president of Doctors Without Borders to apologize for the attack.
Stokes, however, charged that the airstrikes amounted to violations of international humanitarian law and "an attack on the Geneva Conventions itself."
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