Doctors Without Borders has announced today it is withdrawing immediately from the Kunduz area, following a Saturday US airstrike against the hospital they were running, an attack which killed 22 people, including 12 of their staff. They warned the strike amounts to a war crime.
US officials say they are conducting an investigation into the killings, which they expect will be done in a matter of days. Kunduz Governor Hamidullah Danishi, however, defended the attack, saying the hospital full of aid workers was a “Taliban base” that was “100% used by the Taliban.”
Doctors Without Borders quickly refuted the allegation, noting that the gates of the hospital compound were closed at the time of the attack, and that there was no one inside the site except for patients and staff. They’re also demanding an independent inquiry into the attack, saying an internal investigation is “wholly insufficient.”
There was no evidence offered of the Afghan claims that the hospital was a source of gunfire, and Doctors Without Borders insisted that was not the case. Aid groups and the UN are uniformly condemning the US attack as “inexcusable.” Perhaps the biggest harm of the incident is yet to come, as Kunduz, the site of much heavy fighting in recent weeks, is now without its major hospital full of international doctors.
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