Afghanistan: Taliban accuse “barbaric American forces” of alleged “war crimes” after aerial bombing of Kunduz hospital

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Hospital under attack (Image via Islamic Emirate)

News has just come in that the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) Trauma center in Kunduz was hit several times in an aerial bombardment that badly damaged the building and caused the death of at least 3 staff with 30 unaccounted for. It is unclear how many patients were affected. Staff at the hospital had worked around the clock with a greatly increased workload following the Taliban take -over of the northern Afghan city of Kunduz and subsequent battles with security forces.

Danielle Moylan for the Telegraph in Kabul tweeted,

Kunduz residents describe harrowing scenes at hospital bombing, saying scores were trapped inside burning building.

Kunduz police spox confirms MSF bombing a US airstrike. US confirmed their hit caused collateral damage but still investigating

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Staff group picture before airstrike posted on FB. Only hospital in the region devastated by bombing (Image Humayoonbabur)

Dr. Masood Nasim who leads the medical team wrote an account of the first 72 hours in the hospital after fighting engulfed Kunduz city on Monday. He stated,

For days this has been the only functioning hospital in the area, and we are receiving wounded from across the city. We treat women, men, children; civilians and combatants. We treat everyone, regardless of their ethnicity or political affiliations and as long as they leave their weapons at the door. I’m very proud that we have this specialist trauma hospital, the only one of its kind in the whole north-east of Afghanistan.

From time to time the fighting calms, and I’ve been outside the hospital briefly. But all of my energy has been focused on the medical activities here.

I’m Afghan, and I’ve grown up with fighting, shelling and bullets, as has most of our team. No one looks scared. But whether or not you are used to it, when there is violence going on around you, of course you are worried. It interferes with your normal activities and thinking. You don’t see it, but in your body you feel it.”

It is unclear whether Dr Nasim survived the bombing.

The following statement was released by MSF.

Afghanistan: MSF Staff Killed, Hospital Partially Destroyed in Kunduz

October 02, 2015

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It will be very difficult to provide trauma services to the region following the destruction of a key health facility (Image via Islamic Emirate)

Kabul, October 3, 2015: At 2:10 AM local time on Saturday October 3, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) Trauma center in Kunduz was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged.

Three MSF staff are confirmed dead and more than 30 are unaccounted for. The medical team is working around the clock to do everything possible for the safety of patients and hospital staff.

“We are deeply shocked by the attack, the killing of our staff and patients and the heavy toll it has inflicted on healthcare in Kunduz,” says Bart Janssens, MSF Director of Operations. “We do not yet have the final casualty figures, but our medical team are providing first aid and treating the injured patients and MSF personnel and accounting for the deceased. We urge all parties to respect the safety of health facilities and staff.”

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

MSF’s hospital is the only facility of its kind in the whole northeastern region of Afghanistan, providing free life- and limb-saving trauma care. MSF doctors treat all people according to their medical needs and do not make distinctions based on a patient’s ethnicity, religious beliefs or political affiliation.

MSF started working in Afghanistan in 1980. In Kunduz, just like in the rest of Afghanistan, both national and international staff work together to ensure the best quality of treatment. MSF supports the Ministry of Public Health in Ahmad Shah Baba hospital in eastern Kabul, Dasht-e-Barchi maternity in western Kabul and Boost hospital in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province. In Khost, in the east of the country, MSF operates a maternity hospital. MSF relies only on private funding for its work in Afghanistan and does not accept money from any government.

End

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Taliban visiting the hospital a few days ago after taking over Kunduz

(Image Islamic Emirate)

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Staff coping with extra workload as a result of the conflict

Abdulqahar Balkhi, a Twitter account affiliated to Islamic Emirate showed his anger tweeting the news to several human rights organizations as follows,

#War Crimes

American invaders bomb hospital overnight, tens of patients, doctors, nurses martyred/injured

This despite not a single Mujahid being admitted/treated in the hospital due to the prevailing military condition

Balkhi pointed out that “Mujahidin provided security to MSF staff and and lend monetary help to patients during capture of Kunduz whilst invaders bomb civilians and hospitals.” He added that, “this goes without mentioning treatment of prisoners and dealing with locals (yes US condone raping of boys/gang rape by their hirelings).” Balkhi continued his attack on Amnesty International that had issued a statement accusing the Taliban of human rights abuses in Kunduz strongly denied by Islamic Emirate who also produced a press release. Today he claimed that Amnesty and others “would rather accuse Mujahidin of gang rapes and civilian casualties without ever providing proof”.

Barbaric American Forces bomb civilian hospital in Kunduz, tens of doctors and patients martyred

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It is with deep sadness to report that the barbaric American forces have carried out deliberate airstrikes on a civilian hospital in Kunduz city overnight, martyring and wounding tens of doctors, nurses and patients.

This incident comes despite the fact that not a single Mujahid of Islamic Emirate was being treated in the hospital because the prevailing military situation of Kunduz would not allow us to admit our patients to the said hospital.

The intelligence apparatus of the Kabul stooge administration also shared information with the American forces about the hospital prior to committing this crime.

This savagery happened a day after the so called Amnesty International and other international human right organizations blamed the Mujahideen of wrongdoings of entering the hospital, assuring the doctors about continuing their work and lending monetary help to the patients.

We shall now find out the weight which will be given to this crime by the claimants of human rights and metric of sympathy given to the oppressed countrymen by the media.

The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns this American crime. This savagery once again exposed the hypocritical ruthless colors of the invaders and their hirelings to the Afghans and the world.

Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate shall take revenge upon the Americans and their hirelings for this oppression in a much better form, Allah willing.

Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Zabihullah Mujahid

19/12/1436 Hijri Lunar

11/07/1394 Hijri Solar                       03/10/2015 Gregorian

End

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Staff in Shock in One of the Remaining Parts of MSF’s Hospital in  (MSF)

Vice News that appeared to have been in contact with staff at the local hospital in Kunduz a few days ago before the bombing stated,

“a hospital official confirmed Taliban fighters had entered the hospital briefly, apparently looking for wounded government fighters.

‘They just visited our rooms. They didn’t harm anybody and didn’t damage anything. They left soon after,’ said the official, who declined to be identified as he feared repercussions.”

Pajhwok quoted, Colonel Brian Tribus, a spokesman for US Forces in Afghanistan saying, “this Kunduz hospital bombing incident is under investigation”.

Telegraph stated that Sediq Seddiqi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told the Danielle Moylan that the loss of MSF and civilians was “terrible, unfortunate news”.

“Last night a number of Taliban were hiding in positions around the hospital and they were attacking government buildings close by. We were fortunately able to evacuate 80 MSF staff members to a safe place.”

Mr Seddiqi added that a local, 200 bed hospital and a number of small clinics in Kunduz were still functioning.

He further said that operations to flush out remaining Taliban in the city continued.

Further photos of hospital and one of the victims (Images Humayoonbabur)

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Ehsan Osmani, MSF hopsital staff in , is among those killed in the NATO airstrike today morning. RIP Dr Ehsan! (From @mmodaser )

Usman Sharifi said, “an ophtalmologist he was suposed 2 leave MSF Kunduz days back, but stayed on 2 help wounded patients. RIP doctor 😦 “

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A civil society member said to have been killed in bombing (Image Humayoonbabur)

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Building very badly damaged, where will patients go now? (Image Humayoonbabur)

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Photo from surgery activities this morning in the aftermath of the bombing of the hospital.

Video showing damage to the hospital

Link

“Afghanistan: Our hospital was on the frontline”

http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/afghanistan-our-hospital-was-frontline

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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One Response to Afghanistan: Taliban accuse “barbaric American forces” of alleged “war crimes” after aerial bombing of Kunduz hospital

  1. Pingback: Afghanistan: Doctor and his family allegedly killed in US night raid | Carol Anne Grayson (Radical Sister) blog

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