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9 killed, 37 injured in US airstrike on MSF hospital

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KABUL: At least nine health-workers were killed and 37 others wounded after the US fighter jets bombed the Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) hospital in Kunduz province on Saturday.

In a media statement issued here, the MSF said that on Saturday at 2:10 am, the MSF Trauma centre in Kunduz was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged.

The charity confirmed death of nine MSF staff members. According to latest updates, 37 people were seriously wounded during the bombing, of whom 19 are MSF staffers.

Some of the most critically injured workers were transferred to a hospital in Puli Khumri.

“MSF condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, full of staff and patients. MSF wishes to clarify that all parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location (GPS Coordinates) of the MSF facilities -hospital, guesthouse, office and an outreach stabilization unit in Chardara (to the north-west of Kunduz). As MSF does in all conflict contexts, these precise locations were communicated to all parties on multiple occasions over the past months, including most recently on 29 September,” MSF said.

The bombing continued for more than 30 minutes after American and Afghan military officials in Kabul and Washington were first informed. MSF urgently seeks clarity on exactly what took place and how this terrible event could have happened, the medical charity organization asked.

“Since fighting broke out on Monday, MSF has treated 394 wounded. When the aerial attack occurred this morning we had 105 patients and their care-takers in the hospital and over 80 MSF international and national staff present,” said the statement.

Confirming the airstrike, the spokesman to Ministry of Public Health, Wahidullah Mayar, said that based on initial report as a result of the airstrike on MSF’s hospital in Kunduz Province, at least three persons were killed and 37 others injured, including MSF’s staff

He said that the hospital was destroyed and the injured people were shifted to the provincial hospital.

He tweeted that MSF’s hospital was largely destroyed by fire after the airstrike.

Meanwhile, by issuing a statement the US forces said that an airstrike was carried out in Kunduz city at 2:15 am (local time) on Saturday, against individuals threatening the forces.  According to the statement, the incident is under investigation. The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.

Ministry of Interior’s spokesman Seddiq Sediqi in a press conference said that it was terrible to see that lost of doctors, but the terrorists chose to hide in the hospital. He said that still Taliban are hiding in several buildings, even hospital.

The spokesman said that 10 to 15 terrorists were hiding in the hospital last night.