KUNDUZ – The US airstrikes targeted a Doctors without Borders (MSF) hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz, killing 12 staff members, 10 patients, seriously wounding 37 people and destroying much of the hospital compound. “The Kunduz attack constitutes a grave violation of international law. We demand a full and transparent account from the Coalition,” says an MSF tweet.

The early morning NATO attack continued for 30 minutes precisely on the MSF hospital despite the charity constantly raising the alarm with the US and Afghan officials. The US aggression brought about the single largest loss of life that the medical charity has suffered in 35 years of working in the country.

The US military acknowledged it may have bombed the hospital, saying in a statement that it was targeting Taliban insurgents who were directly firing on US troops.

Vickie Hawkins, MSF UK’s Executive Director and a former Head of Mission in Afghanistan, said that the charity “absolutely” rejected suggestions that Taliban fighters were at the hospital.

MSF develop a set of standard protocols for safe operations overseeing long experience of working in war zones. The charity is followed its usual practices on informing all parties including Taliban and Nato forces about its presence in Kunduz and handed over “hospital’s location and the most recent GPS co-ordinates,” said Hawkins.

The hospital had treated hundreds of people injured after the government troops and US fighter jets attacked to take the city’s control from Taliban last week.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply shocked by the bombing of the MSF hospital in Kunduz, and strongly condemned the violent act against patients, medical workers and facilities, according to the ICRC web page.

 – Tazeen Hasan, Correspondent (Asia: South)

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