Numerous Civilians Dead After US Bombs Hospital in Afghanistan
Dozens dead and wounded after witnesses say bombardment of charity medical center continued for 30 minutes
Numerous Civilians Dead After US Bombs Hospital in Afghanistan
By Nadia Prupis / commondreams.org

Update:

At least 12 staff members and seven patients were confirmed killed during the airstrike, bringing the death toll to 19 as of Saturday. At least 37 were wounded. Some were flown to Kabul for treatment.

Earlier:

A suspected U.S. airstrike on a trauma center run by Doctors Without Border/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Saturday has killed at least nine staff members and wounded up to 37 people.

An additional 30 are missing, according to a statement by MSF. The death toll is expected to rise, although the medical charity said it believed all of its international staff had survived.

The strikes took place around 2:10 am in the northern city of Kunduz in Afghanistan and continued for another 30 minutes, MSF said. At the time, the hospital had 105 patients and caretakers, along with 80 staff.

MSF said it had circulated coordinates of the trauma center's location to all sides fighting in the country, including Kabul and Washington.

"We are deeply shocked by the attack, the killing of our staff and patients and the heavy toll it has inflicted on healthcare in Kunduz," said MSF director of operations Bart Janssens. "We do not yet have the final casualty figures, but our medical team are providing first aid and treating the injured patients and MSF personnel and accounting for the deceased. We urge all parties to respect the safety of health facilities and staff."

A U.S. military spokesperson confirmed that a strike occurred in Kunduz that "may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility." He said the bombardment was targeting "individuals threatening the force."

Fighting broke out earlier in the week. MSF said its Kunduz center treated 394 patients since clashes began on Monday.

An anonymous staff member told the Guardian, "I was inside my office. Around 2am, the plane started bombing the main building of MSF. It lasted one and a half hours. After 3.30am, I came out from my office and saw all of the hospital was on fire."

"We couldn't save our doctors, our nurses, our cleaners, our friends," the staff member said. "They burned inside the hospital. We couldn’t save our brothers and friends."

Reuters reports:

At the aid group's bombed-out hospital, one wall of a building had collapsed, scattering fragments of glass and wooden door frames, and three rooms were ablaze, said Saad Mukhtar, director of public health in Kunduz.

[....] Many patients and staff remain missing after the attack which happened when almost 200 patients and employees were in the hospital, the only one in the region that can deal with major injuries, said Medecins Sans Frontieres, which is based in Switzerland.

As journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote in a post for The Intercept, the strike comes just one day after President Barack Obama warned Russia against causing civilian casualties in Syria from Moscow's newly launched aerial campaign against Islamic State (ISIS) targets. Greenwald writes:

U.S. officials went to TIME Magazine yesterday to announce that Russia will be creating more terrorists than they kill as a result of misguided airstrikes in Syria. “We believe if you inadvertently kill innocent men, women and children, then there’s a backlash from that,” Lieut. General Bob Otto, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance said. “We might kill three and create 10 terrorists. It really goes back to the question of are we killing more than were making?”

It’s impossible to fathom what the U.S. media would be saying and doing if Russia did something like this in Syria. By contrast, the reaction to this airstrike by their own government will be muted and filled with apologia, ironically quite similar to the widely vilified caricature of Jeb Bush’s comments about the Oregon shooting spree: “stuff happens.”

Jean-Nicolas Marti, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Afghanistan, said the strike was "an appalling tragedy. Such attacks against health workers and facilities undermine the capacity of humanitarian organizations to assist the Afghan people at a time when they most urgently need it."

The ICRC noted that under international humanitarian law, "the civilian population, medical personnel, ambulances and medical facilities must be respected and protected in all circumstances, and the work of medical personnel must be facilitated."

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Films For Action · 9,040 views today · There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few...
Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing Discredited 'Fake News' Blacklist?
Adam Johnson · 6,622 views today · The Washington Post (11/24/16) last week published a front-page blockbuster that quickly went viral: Russia-promoted “fake news” had infiltrated the newsfeeds of 213 million...
The Orwellian War on Skepticism
Robert Parry · 5,137 views today · Official Washington’s rush into an Orwellian future is well underway as political and media bigwigs move to silence Internet voices of independence and dissent, reports Robert...
Where Do You Draw the Line? (2016)
60 min · 4,028 views today · Why is the Ecuadorian government proposing to extract oil in an area frequently classified by ecologists as one of the most bio-diverse rainforest regions left intact on earth?...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 3,494 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
Projext X: Using Leaked Documents to Reveal the NSA's New York Spy Hub, Hidden in Plain Sight
10 min · 3,311 views today · A top-secret handbook takes viewers on an undercover journey to Titanpointe, the site of a hidden partnership. Narrated by Rami Malek and Michelle Williams, and based on...
Social Media Echo Chambers: Here's How Most of Us are Living in One
2 min · 2,615 views today · Americans are blocking out the friends and news sites that won't confirm their views.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 2,328 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,799 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Twelve Things To Remember After The US Election, From Front Line Organizers
Bill Quigley · 1,691 views today · When you find yourself in a suddenly darkened room, what do you do?   Some rush blindly to where they think the door might be.  Others stand still, let their eyes get...
Law Professor's Epic Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint
Social Design Notes · 1,305 views today · A first year law school student wrote a complaint about her professor having worn a Black Lives Matter T-shirt during class. The professor’s response is priceless. Scans of...
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min · 1,135 views today · For next year, we need a resolution capable of confronting the crisis we face, and making a future worth fighting for. This short film looks back on the crisis and confusion...
Why We Need Big Picture Activism
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 978 views today · Despite the countless grassroots projects already under way, the global economic juggernaut can seem too powerful to stop. But because more and more of us are becoming aware of...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 960 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 899 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
How a Land High in the Western Himalayas Can Help Us Understand The Crisis of The Modern World
9 min · 551 views today · This is a clip from The Economics of Happiness. Watch it here. It's a brilliant film that was easy to put at the top of our list of the top 100 documentaries we can use to...
The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved
Sigmund Fraud · 427 views today · For a magician to fool his audience his deceit must go unseen, and to this end he crafts an illusion to avert attention from reality. While the audience is entranced, the...
Escape! From the Cult of Materialism (2016)
50 min · 399 views today · Does the philosophy of materialism work to destroy our identities, experience, and environment? Join narrator Daphne Ellis on a radical romp through the evidence and decide for...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 379 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
The Daily Show's Trevor Noah Talks With Conservative Host Tomi Lahren
14 min · 367 views today · "Tomi" host Tomi Lahren gives her take on the Black Lives Matter movement and explains why she lashed out against Colin Kaepernick for his national anthem protest.
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Numerous Civilians Dead After US Bombs Hospital in Afghanistan