Numerous Civilians Dead After US Bombs Hospital in Afghanistan
At least 12 staff members and seven patients were confirmed killed during the airstrike, bringing the death toll to 19 as of Saturday. At least 37 were wounded. Some were flown to Kabul for treatment.
A suspected U.S. airstrike on a trauma center run by Doctors Without Border/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Saturday has killed at least nine staff members and wounded up to 37 people.
An additional 30 are missing, according to a statement by MSF. The death toll is expected to rise, although the medical charity said it believed all of its international staff had survived.
The strikes took place around 2:10 am in the northern city of Kunduz and continued for another 30 minutes, MSF said. At the time, the hospital had 105 patients and caretakers, along with 80 staff.
MSF said it had circulated coordinates of the trauma center’s location to all sides fighting in the country, including Kabul and Washington.
“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,” said MSF director of operations Bart Janssens. “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. We urge all parties to respect the safety of health facilities and staff.”
A U.S. military spokesperson confirmed that a strike occurred in Kunduz that “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.” He said the bombardment was targeting “individuals threatening the force.”
Fighting broke out earlier in the week. MSF said its Kunduz center treated 394 patients since clashes began on Monday.
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