A U.S. Airstrike on a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz left at least fifteen staff members, and seven patients’ dead, including three children—another 37 civilians were injured. According to the New York Times, “The United States military, in a statement, confirmed an airstrike at 2:15 a.m., saying that it had been targeting individuals ‘who were threatening the force’ and that ‘there may have been collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.’” The paper also reports that, “Another nurse, Lajos Zoltan Jecs, described looking into the intensive care unit and seeing the bodies of six patients burning in their beds. “There are no words for how terrible it was,” he said in a statement issued by the aid organization”.
The hospital was being mostly run by “Medecins Sans Frontieres” (MSF, or “Doctors Without Borders”). MSF has since announced that they have withdrawn from Kunduz, and one spokesperson for the organization said the death toll is now up to 23.
Taliban forces had seized control of the northern city of Kunduz for a time, however, Afghan forces had said they, with the help of NATO allies, had regained control of the city. The latest reports state that “Taliban fighters launched counter-attacks, driving back government forces from the areas, where they had made earlier gains”.
Officials from MSF said the U.S. military was aware of the hospital’s exact GPS coordinates. According to a press release from President Ashraf, General John F. Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, had suggested that the airstrike was necessary because insurgents had been firing on U.S. service members. MSF personnel, including two nurses, said “there had been no fighting in the hospital’s immediate vicinity and no Taliban fighters in the hospital”.