Socialist Worker

Outrage over ‘war crime’ as US bombs kill 22 people in an Afghan hospital

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2474

The aftermath of the Kunduz hospital bombing in Afghanistan

The aftermath of the Kunduz hospital bombing in Afghanistan (Pic: MSF)


US bombs killed 22 people in a hospital in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan last Saturday. The dead included 12 doctors and ten patients. 

The hospital was run by charity Medicines sans Frontiers (MSF).

Lajos Zoltan Jecs, an MSF nurse based in the hospital, described the carnage as the US plane circled and bombarded them. 

He said, “It was absolutely terrifying. There are no words for how terrible it was. In the intensive care unit six patients were burning in their beds.”

The coordinates of the hospital had been regularly given to Nato and the Afghan government. MSF said these were last communicated on 29 September. 

As missiles designed to blow up tanks were fired on the hospital, staff contacted US and Afghan officials in desperation. 

They explained that health care workers and patients were in the hospital being attacked. 

The bombing carried on for a further half an hour.

The US changed its story on the bombing after international outcry. 

First it dismissed the dead as “collateral damage”. Then it said the bombing was carried out to protect US forces. Finally it claimed Afghan troops called in the air strikes.

Hamdullah Danishi, the acting governor of Kunduz, confirmed the hospital was not an accidental target. 

He claimed that Taliban were in the hospital’s “vast garden” which he said justified the bombing.

MSF is demanding an investigation of what it is treating as a war crime.


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