Afghan investigators to probe Kunduz US air strike

Afghan five-member team to leave for Kunduz to investigate US air strike on hospital which killed 22 people

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a joint news conference-Archive

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has selected a committee to investigate a US air strike which targeted a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital and killed at least 22 people in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, the President’s spokesman said on Saturday.

MSF described the US air strike in Kunduz as a war crime and criticised Afghan government statements legitimising the strike.

President Ghani’s spokesman said the five-man commission would depart soon for Kunduz to investigate the reason for the US air strike on the Hospital.

The spokesman also said the committee would be led by the former chief of the national intelligence agency Amrullah Saleh and would submit the report to the president.

The commander of Afghan special forces in Kunduz stated Afghan forces had been under heavy fire in the city near the hospital, clashing with an estimated 500 Taliban militants. “It is possible our forces might have called for an air strike to hit the enemy position, but that doesn’t mean to go and bomb the hospital,” he told Reuters.

MSF members have denied claims that Taliban fighters were firing from the hospital at Afghan forces.

President Barack Obama has apologised and the US military is also investigating the incident.

President Ghani met with representatives from MSF on Friday, the president’s office reported, and told the group's general director Christopher Stokes and Afghanistan representative Guilhem Molinie that he had directed Afghan security forces to ensure the protection of humanitarian organisations across the country. 

TRTWorld and agencies