US to punish military involved in attack on hospital in Afghanistan


The attack in error last October on the Doctors without Borders hospital in Kunduz left 42 people dead. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: US military personnel involved in a devastating air strike on an NGO hospital in Afghanistan have been or will be punished, officials said Thursday.

The attack in error last October on the Doctors without Borders hospital in Kunduz left 42 people dead. The US military carried out an investigation and blamed human error.

“I can tell you that those individuals most closely associated with the incident have been suspended from their duties and were referred for administrative action,” said Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesperson for US Central Command.

Kunduz has seen heavy fighting since Taliban insurgents overran it on Monday. It was the first major city to be captured by militants since 2001.

MSF said some 105 patients and their caregivers, as well as more than 80 international and local MSF staff were in the hospital at the time of the bombing.

The charity had stated it was treating 59 children at the facility.

NATO conceded that US forces may have been behind the strike.

“US forces conducted an air strike in Kunduz city at 2:15 am (local time)… against individuals threatening the force,” a NATO statement said.

Source: AFP

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