Doctors Without Borders says Afghan hospital strikes were deliberate

2015-10-08 16:21
Afghan police officers carry the body of a hotel guard in a black cloth after a suicide attack in Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. (Ahmed Bilal, AP)

Afghan police officers carry the body of a hotel guard in a black cloth after a suicide attack in Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. (Ahmed Bilal, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kabul - The US airstrikes that destroyed a hospital belonging to Doctors Without Borders in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz was "a deliberate attack", a top official charged on Thursday.

"The trauma hospital came under multiple, precise and sustained air raids for more than an hour after we informed military officials in both Washington and Kabul," Christopher Stokes, the general director of the aid group, said in arguing that the attack did not consist only of "collateral damage".

"This does not match at all what our team told us," he said. "They said very precise strikes on the main building of the hospital. It was a deliberate hit."

He called for an independent inquiry into Saturday's airstrikes, which killed at least 22 people. The aid group said nine patients and 24 staff members are still missing.

Three investigations are now under way into the bombing by US, Nato and Afghan forces.

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday called the president of Doctors Without Borders to apologize for the attack.

"When we make a mistake we own up to it," White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said. "We apologise, and we make changes to be sure it won't occur again in the future."

Stokes, however, charged that the airstrikes amounted to violations of international humanitarian law and "an attack on the Geneva Conventions itself".

He pressed for an independent international investigation by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, an international body that investigates potential breaches of international humanitarian law.

The commission was created in 1991 on the basis of the Geneva Conventions, but the commission has never been activated or used.

The 76 signatory states includes Germany, Russia and Britain, but the United States and France are not part of it.

None of the signatory states has replied to the Doctors Without Borders request for a formal investigations yet, Stokes said.

Read more on:    msf  |  nato  |  us  |  afghanistan  |  security

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.