Pentagon to compensate victims of Kunduz airstrike
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The Pentagon on Saturday announced it would make payments in compensation for those killed and wounded by US airstrikes on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan.
Without specifying the compensation amounts, the Pentagon also offered to repair the hospital that was badly damaged in the US airstrike. Known by its French name Médecins Sans Frontières, the medical charity had demanded an international probe into the bombing despite US President Barack Obama’s apology.
The NATO and US forces top commander in Afghanistan, Gen John Campbell, had called the airstrike a mistake that killed 22 people, including MSF staff and patients. The charity says 33 people are still missing since the attack on October 3.
“The Department of Defense believes it is important to address the consequences of the tragic incident,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said. He said one step the department could take was to make condolence payments to civilian non-combatants injured and the families of civilian non-combatants killed as a result of US military operations.
Under the Commanders' Emergency Response Program (CERP), US Forces-Afghanistan has the authority to make condolence payments and payments toward repair of the hospital, he said. USFOR-A will work with those affected to determine appropriate payments, he added. “If necessary and appropriate, the administration will seek additional authority from the Congress,” Cook said.
Three separate investigations by the US military, NATO and Afghan officials are under way in the incident that came just days after the Taliban overran the city.
Condemning the attack as a war crime, the MSF had stressed the need for an international investigation, saying the bombing raid contravened the Geneva Conventions.
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