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Doctors Without Borders: we weren’t warned of US strike on hospital

Jason Cone, United States Executive Director of Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) pauses during a press briefing in New York City. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Doctors Without Borders: we weren’t warned of US strike on hospital

Doctors Without Borders have demanded an independent, and unprecedented, inquiry into the US airstrike on its field hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

The deadly airstrike, on Saturday morning, killed 22 of the aid organisation’s staff and patients and left 37 injured. The strike has been widely condemned.

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières) has already heavily criticised the attack and said it was given no warning. On Wednesday it held a press conference in New York City and increased the pressure on the US asking for a full inquiry under the Geneva conventions.

According to The Guardian the medical charity said the investigation would gather facts and evidence from the US, Nato and Afghanistan.

“If we let this go, we are basically giving a blank cheque to any countries at war,” Joanne Liu, MSF international president said.

[caption id="attachment_841714" align="alignnone" width="635"]Fires burn in the Kunduz Hospital after it was hit by US airstrikes/ AFP/MSF Fires burn in the Kunduz Hospital after it was hit by US airstrikes/ AFP/MSF[/caption]

 

US President Barack Obama called Liu on Wednesday morning to apologise for the air strike, the White House said.

The Guardian said the president called Liu “to apologise and express his condolences for the MSF staff and patients who were killed and injured”, according to Obama’s secretary Josh Earnest.

“The president assured Dr Liu that the Department of Defense investigation currently underway would provide a transparent, thorough and objective account of the facts and circumstances of the incident and that, if necessary, the president would implement changes that would make tragedies like this one less likely to occur in the future,” Earnest said.

“This was not just an attack on our hospital – it was an attack on the Geneva conventions. This cannot be tolerated,” Liu said.

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