The Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was a weapons free zone. Everyone fighting in the area was supposed to know its coordinates. But last Saturday, the hospital was bombarded by American military, after Afghan forces called for air support to take back the city from the Taliban.
It’s been called collateral damage, or a tragic accident. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama apologized to the head of Doctors Without Borders, and pledged full cooperation with independent investigations into the incident.
Our fighters killed the bad guys they were after, but also killed 12 medical staff members and at least 10 patients, three of them children, at the hospital. Another 37 were wounded, and the area was left without its most important hospital.
A nurse at the scene posted this message on the Doctors Without Borders website: “There are no words for how terrible it was. In ICU 6 patients were burning in their beds.”
Soon the U.S. will decide whether to maintain or reduce the number of troops it has in Afghanistan – roughly 10,000 at this time. We should also look at our plans to avoid future “mistakes” that violate Geneva Conventions.