A US airstrike hit a hospital run by doctors without borders in the city of Kunduz, Afghanistan overnight.
The aerial attack killed at least 19 people, including nine Medecins Sans Frontieres staff and a number of patients including three children. Dozens were seriously injured
NATO has admitted that a US airstrike may have caused accidental “collateral damage.”
The head of the US-led forces in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, has offered condolences to the Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani after the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz, the Afghan president’s office has reported, as cited by Reuters.
US forces conducted an airstrike in Kunduz at 2:15am on Saturday, said NATO coalition spokesman Colonel Brian Tribus.
“The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility,” he said. “This incident is under investigation.”
MSF said “all indications” suggest US-led forces carried out the bombing.
“All indications currently point to the bombing being carried out by international Coalition forces,” it said in a statement. “MSF demands a full and transparent account from the Coalition regarding its aerial bombing activities over Kunduz on Saturday morning.”
“We are deeply shocked by the attack, the killing of our staff and patients and the heavy toll it has inflicted on healthcare in Kunduz,” Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said in a statement.
Nine MSF staff have been confirmed dead, while more than 30 are unaccounted for, according to the organization’s official statement.
The medical charity also stated that seven patients, including three children had been killed, while a total of 37 people have been injuried.
— Doctors w/o Borders (@MSF_USA) October 3, 2015
At the time that the“aerial attack”occurred there were over 80 personnel, both local and international, inside the building, treating over 105 patients.
“We do not yet have the final casualty figures, but our medical team are providing first aid and treating the injured patients and MSF personnel and accounting for the deceased,” MSF said.
An official from the organization stated the medical charity was frantically trying to phone NATO as Washington bombed the medical hospital for almost an hour, Reuters reported.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said the first bomb landed at 2:10am and MSF staff called NATO officials in Kabul at 2:19am and military officials in Washington a few minutes later. The bombing continued until 3:13am.
Dr Masood Nasim, who was leading the MSF medical team at trauma hospital in Kunduz, said on Thursday that his facility has been at the front line since the hostilities began on September 28.