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U.S. Military Personnel ‘Punished’ Over Afghan Hospital Attack

by AFP
Fabrice Coffrini—AFP

MSF officials have repeatedly urged an international investigation into the airstrike. Fabrice Coffrini—AFP

Officials involved in airstrike that left 42 people, including foreign aid workers, dead have been suspended.

U.S. military personnel involved in a devastating airstrike on a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Afghanistan have been or will be punished, officials said Thursday.

The bombing last October of the MSF hospital in Kunduz, which came as NATO-backed Afghan forces clashed with insurgents for control of the northern provincial capital, left 42 people dead. The U.S. military carried out an investigation and blamed human error.

“I can tell you that those individuals most closely associated with the incident have been suspended from their duties and were referred for administrative action,” said Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command.

More than 10 military personnel face administrative action, another official said. He said this can range from ‘negative counseling,’ or being told not to do something again, to a letter of reprimand, which generally blocks further promotion. Removal of command is also a possibility.

Next week, the Pentagon is due to publish a version of its report on the attack. It will be redacted to remove classified material.

President Barack Obama has apologized for the Kunduz attack and the Pentagon has said it will pay compensation to the families of those killed.

Doctors Without Borders has appealed in vain for an international investigation of the airstrike. The assault came shortly after the Taliban briefly seized Kunduz the previous month, in their biggest military victory since being ousted in the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

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1 comment

Deyan Ranko Brashich April 29, 2016 - 5:38 am

Now let me get this straight: last October there is an unprovoked air strike by US forces on a clearly marked and notoriously known hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Afghanistan that results in 42 deaths a many wounded and the best the US military can mete out as punishment is the suspension of 1 officer, 6 servicemen “sent to counselling”, 7 given “letters of reprimand” and 2 ordered to “retraining courses” You have to be f ____ g kidding me! See my comments of last October of “War Crimes That Go Unpunished” at


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