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October 07, 2015

Pentagon Says Raid on Afghan Charity Hospital Was a Mistake

The U.S. military directly acknowledged Tuesday that it was responsible for the weekend airstrike that killed 22 people at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in northern Afghanistan and called the deadly raid a mistake, Reuters and ABC News report.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Army Gen. John Campbell, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan, said the bombing Saturday resulted from "a U.S. decision made within the U.S. chain of command" after Afghan troops battling Taliban militants in the city of Kunduz asked for air support.

"A hospital was mistakenly struck," the general added. "We would never intentionally target a protected medical facility." Traveling in Europe, Defense Secretary Ash Carter also called the bombing a mistake and said the Pentagon "will do everything we can to understand this tragic incident, learn from it, and hold people accountable as necessary."

The Pentagon and the Afghan military are investigating the circumstances that led to the sustained bombing raid. Doctors Without Borders has called for an independent investigation.