Medical charity leaves Kunduz after air strike on hospital
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said 22 people were killed, some of whom burned to death in their beds as the bombardment continued for more than an hour, even after US and Afghan authorities were informed the hospital had been hit.
MSF said Afghan and coalition troops were fully aware of the exact location of the hospital, having been given GPS coordinates of a facility which had been providing care for four years.
It added that despite frantic calls to military officials in Kabul and Washington, the main building housing the intensive care unit and emergency rooms was “repeatedly, very precisely” hit almost every 15 minutes for more than an hour.
Afghan officials said militants were using the hospital building as a position to target Afghan forces and civilians. But MSF denied any combatants were present in the facility, adding that “not a single member of our staff reported any fighting inside the hospital compound prior to the air strike”.
The dead included 12 MSF staff and 10 patients, among them three children.