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October 19, 2015

Medical Charity's Head Says Hospital Strike Was No Mistake

The general director of Doctors Without Borders tells the Associated Press he does not believe a U.S. warplane bombed the global medical charity's hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, by mistake on October 3, as the Pentagon asserts. Christopher Stokes said the "extensive, quite precise destruction" of the trauma center during repeated strafing runs casts doubt on the Pentagon's account of the airstrike, which killed 22 people.

President Barack Obama has apologized to the charity for the attack, which the commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan said was undertaken in error during a firefight between Afghan troops and Taliban insurgents who had taken control of Kunduz. The Pentagon, NATO, and Afghan authorities are investigating the raid, but Doctors Without Borders is seeking an independent inquiry by an international body.

"The hospital was repeatedly hit both at the front and the rear and extensively destroyed and damaged, even though we have provided all the coordinates and all the right information to all the parties in the conflict," Mr. Stokes said in an interview in Kunduz. He said there were no armed Taliban on the hospital grounds at the time of the raid.