Elsewhere online
May 17, 2016

Report Examines Afghan Forces’ Role in Hospital Bombing

The New York Times Magazine delves into the U.S. airstrike that destroyed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, last October and whether hostility toward the medical charity on the Afghan military’s part played a role in the bombing.

The nonprofit, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, says at least 42 people died in the attack and has called for an independent international inquiry. A U.S. Defense Department investigation concluded that the hospital was mistakenly targeted amid fierce fighting between Afghan government and Taliban forces. The Pentagon disciplined 16 American service members who it said committed serious errors but has declined to pursue criminal charges because there was no intent to attack a medical facility.

Citing interviews and the Pentagon’s report on the incident, the article traces the events that led to the air raid and the role of intelligence from Afghan troops that the Taliban were using the hospital as a base, a claim the charity denies and that has not been proved. According to the magazine, Afghan military leaders have long been suspicious of the nonprofit group because of its neutrality in the conflict and its policy of treating injured Taliban as well as government fighters.