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October 08, 2015

President Apologizes to Doctors Without Borders for Bombing

President Obama made a personal apology Wednesday to the head of Doctors Without Borders for the U.S. airstrike that killed 22 patients and staffers Saturday at the medical charity's hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, reports The New York Times.

The gesture, a relative rarity for a president, came after the commander of American and allied forces in Afghanistan acknowledged U.S. responsibility for the bombing and called it a mistake. The White House said Mr. Obama promised Joanne Liu, Doctors Without Borders' international president, that a Pentagon investigation would provide a "full accounting" of what led to the raid.

Following her telephone conversation with the president, Dr. Liu reiterated the aid charity's request that the United States agree to an independent inquiry led by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission. The body, established in 1991 under the Geneva Conventions, can investigate suspected violations of international law only with the consent of the relevant nations — in this case, the United States and Afghanistan.