Doctors Without Borders Outlines US Hospital Attack

Doctors Without Borders on Nov. 5 released an initial 13-page internal report on the Oct. 3 US airstrike on its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, outlining the breadth of damage and deaths within its building reportedly from an Air Force AC-130. In the report, the organization says it repeatedly passed along its GPS coordinates to US and Afghan officials, and made several frantic calls and text messages to officials throughout Afghanistan and in Washington, D.C., explaining they were under attack. “Hospitals have protected status under the rules of war, and yet in the early hours of 3 October, the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital came under relentless and brutal aerial attack by US forces,” states the report. At the time, there were 105 patients admitted, including combatants from the Afghan government and the Taliban, along with nine international staff, and 140 national staff, said the group. The night of the attack, which came in the days after intense fighting in the region, was quiet, with staff not reporting any fighting in the area. However, beginning around 2 a.m., staff reported a “series of multiple, precise, and sustained airstrikes, [which] targeted the main hospital building.” The total killed is estimated to be at least 30, with 10 known patients, 13 known staff, and seven bodies burnt beyond recognition, according to the report. One staff member and two patients remain missing and are presumed dead.