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US forces in Afghanistan knew Kunduz site was hospital – report

The damaged hospital in which the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical charity operated is seen on October 13, 2015 following an air strike in the northern city of Kunduz. © STR
New information suggests the US deliberately targeted the Kunduz hospital, killing 22 patients and staff, despite knowing it was a protected medical site.

US special operations analysts investigated the hospital for days prior to the deadly October 3 attack, describing the hospital as a base of operations for a Pakistani agent coordinating Taliban activities, AP has learned from a former intelligence official familiar with the documents.

The site, operated by Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF), was attacked five times in the span of an hour by a C-130 gunship, despite repeated pleas by the MSF to US forces. MSF officials described repeated strafing runs against the main hospital building, which housed the emergency room and the intensive care unit. No surrounding buildings were hit, they say.

The new details suggest “that the hospital was intentionally targeted,” Meinie Nicolai of MSF told the AP by email. “This would amount to a premeditated massacre,” she added.

 

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