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October 07, 2015

Doctors Without Borders Wants Global Body to Investigate Bombing

Doctors Without Borders is calling for a little-known international body on humanitarian law established under the Geneva Conventions to investigate the U.S. airstrike that killed 10 patients and 12 staff members at the aid group's hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, The New York Times and CNN report.

The global medical charity wants to activate the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, a body established in 1991 to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian law that has 76 signatory nations but has yet to be used. "This was not just an attack on our hospital. It was an attack on the Geneva Conventions," Joanne Liu, international president of Doctors Without Borders, said Wednesday at a news conference in Geneva.

The hospital came under sustained bombing Saturday amid combat between Afghan troops and Taliban militants. The Pentagon said the medical center was hit by mistake after Afghan forces requested U.S. air support and has pledge to investigate the circumstances of the raid, but Doctors Without Borders has repeatedly demanded an independent review.

The charity has withdrawn from Kunduz, which remains the site of heavy fighting. The United Nations said Tuesday that all international aid organizations that were active in city have also pulled out, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports.