Death toll rises to 30 in Afghan bombing

Death toll rises to 30 in US air strike on MSF hospital in Afghanistan's northern city of Kunduz

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Damaged buildings are seen at the MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan on October 16, 2015. The hour-long air raid on October 3, 2015

MSF (Doctors Without Borders) announced on Sunday that the death toll has risen to 30 when US forces conducted an air strike on October 3, a trauma hospital  belonging to the medical aid group MSF in Afghanistan's northern city of Kunduz.

The people among the dead include "10 known patients, 13 known staff and seven unrecognizable bodies," MSF said in a statement.

The institution claims that three of the corpses found in the debris of the demolished hospital may belong to one staffer and two patients, who are still missing and presumed dead, the corpses “have not yet been identified.”

The US carried out air strikes to support Afghan forces fighting with the Taliban that captured Kunduz city on September 28, and held it for three days.

Two military inquiries and an Afghan government probe are investigating the reason for the bombing of the hospital.

United States President Barack Obama has apologized for the bombing of the hospital and the head of US forces in Afghanistan, General John F Campbell said that the air strike came by Afghan request, but bombing the hospital was carried out mistakenly.

MSF has demanded an independent investigation into the incident and called Obama for support over the investigation.

The main building of the hospital was destroyed in the bombing and operations are resumed in difficult conditions, the MSF stated. 

Meanwhile, on a statement issued by NATO, General Campbell had appointed US Army Maj. Gen William Hickman and two brigadier generals to resume the inquiry for further investigation that began by Brig. Gen. Richard Kim, which the US is taking full responsibility for. 

NATO’s inquiry for further investigation is being conducted seperatly, and was expected to be resulted last week. However, since there is difficulty identifying the bodies, in the hospital, there's been a delay.

"Both inquiries continue to look at a series of potential human errors, failures of process and technical malfunctions that may have contributed to the mistaken strike on the hospital," Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, spokesman for the Resolute Support Mission, said. 


TRTWorld and agencies