The United States Military has been condemned for continuing to carry out an airstrike on a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan 30 minutes after the Doctors Without Borders inside called for the attack to stop.
The United States attacked the Kunduz hospital in Afghanistan on suspicions that it was being used as a base for the Taliban. According to a report from the Examiner, however, the hospital was actually full of representatives from Doctors Without Borders who were treating patients. And the strikes continued even after the doctors called for them to stop.
The airstrike killed 12 Doctors Without Borders, part of an international group that provides medical care in areas where it is most desperately needed. The strikes also killed or injured hospital staff and seven patients, three of which were children. The strike reportedly lasted for more than an hour, even after the U.S. learned that there were doctors and patients inside about a half an hour through.
According to the UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, “International and Afghan military planners have an obligation to respect and protect civilians at all times, and medical facilities and personnel are the object of a special protection. These obligations apply no matter whose air force is involved, and irrespective of the location.”
So far, the U.S. has only reported the strike as an “accident.” The Public Broadcasting Service reported, “A hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was damaged early Saturday after being hit by an American airstrike, which appears to have accidentally caused significant civilian casualties.”
The head of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon has condemned the U.S. for bombing the hospital. Calling for a thorough investigation into the airstrike, he brought heavy scrutiny down upon the U.S. for its track records of killing civilians.