Pentagon studying MSF report on hospital bombing
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The US is working closely with the Borders Without Borders -- also known as MSF -- to identify the victims of last month’s deadly airstrikes on its hospital in Kunduz province, the Pentagon has said.
After the completion of the identification process, the Pentagon would be conclude its investigations and proceed with follow-on actions, including condolence payments, a spokesman for the Department of Defense said on Thursday.
Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters the US remained committed to working with the Paris-based charity to determine the full extent of the damage to the hospital, so that it could be fully repaired. The Pentagon is studying the MSF report issued yesterday.
“Just yesterday, Resolute Support commander Gen. John Campbell met personally with MSF representatives,” the spokesman said.
Hours earlier, MSF General Director Christopher Stokes alleged: “The view from inside the hospital is that this attack was conducted with a purpose to kill and destroy.”
Releasing an internal review of the MSF, he said: “But we don’t know why. We neither have the view from the cockpit, nor the knowledge of what happened within the US and Afghan military chains of command.”
The MSF hospital had 65 Taliban fighter patients at the time of the raid, the medical charity said, reiterating its call for an international investigation. The chronological review of the events leading up to, during and immediately after the airstrikes revealed no reason why the hospital should have come under attack, it said.
There were no armed combatants or fighting within or from the hospital grounds, he said. At least 30 people were killed in the airstrikes, including 13 staff members, 10 patients and seven others who are yet to be identified.
Among the 105 patients at the time of the airstrikes, MSF was treating wounded combatants from both sides of the conflict, as well as women and children, the report said.
“Some public reports are circulating that the attack on our hospital could be justified because we were treating Taliban,” said Stokes. “Wounded combatants are patients under international law, and must be free from attack and treated without discrimination…” he argued.
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