Date
23 October 2017
Fire is seen inside an MSF hospital building after an air strike in Kunduz, Afghanistan on Oct. 3. The US military has acknowledged it may have bombed the hospital by mistake during an operation against Taliban militants. Photo: Reuters
Fire is seen inside an MSF hospital building after an air strike in Kunduz, Afghanistan on Oct. 3. The US military has acknowledged it may have bombed the hospital by mistake during an operation against Taliban militants. Photo: Reuters

MSF demands independent probe into Afghan ‘war crime’

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, has demanded an independent international inquiry into a suspected US air strike that killed 22 people in a hospital run by the medical charity in the Afghan city of Kunduz early Saturday.

Labeling the attack on the hospital as a “war crime”, MSF said a US military probe into the incident, which occurred during a push by Afghan security forces to retake Kunduz from Taliban insurgents, was not enough, Reuters reported.

“Relying only on an internal investigation by a party to the conflict would be wholly insufficient,” MSF General Director Christopher Stokes was quoted as saying in a statement Sunday.

“Under the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed, MSF demands that a full and transparent investigation into the event be conducted by an independent international body,” Stokes said.

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter has promised a full investigation into whether the American military was connected to the destruction of the hospital, but cautioned it would take time to gather information.

Carter would not speculate on what occurred but said Washington will hold accountable “anybody responsible for doing something they shouldn’t have done.”

President Barack Obama offered condolences on Saturday to the victims of what he called “the tragic incident”.

The US-led coalition force in Afghanistan said it expects to complete its preliminary multinational investigation within days.

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RC

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