NGO Alliance Condemns MSF hospital attack in Kunduz, Afghanistan

InterAction calls for full and independent investigation of bombing
Release Date: 
Oct 06, 2015

Media Contact: Burt Edwards, InterAction: 202.552.6554 (office) or 703.861.8237(cell) or bedwards@interaction.org

WASHINGTON – On October 3, 2015, a U.S. airstrike killed 22 people at a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Speaking in response, InterAction President and CEO Sam Worthington said:

"InterAction was shocked and appalled to learn of the airstrike on the MSF hospital in Kunduz this weekend. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and colleagues of those lost and injured in this senseless attack.

"It is deeply disturbing that an MSF medical facility would suffer an attack in the very area where life-saving medical care is most critical. This weekend's tragic events have destroyed an essential lifeline for communities requiring urgent medical care in northern Afghanistan at the same time when there has been a dramatic escalation in armed conflict in Kunduz.

"Humanitarian workers everywhere rely on international legal protections in order to do their jobs. MSF routinely provided their GPS coordinates to combatants, including the U.S. military. The scale and precision of the strikes on the MSF hospital warrants a full and independent investigation in order for such tragedies to be avoided in the future.

"Now is the time for the United States to set the example it would have other countries follow."

BACKGROUND

According to MSF, 12 staff members and at least 10 patients (including three children) were killed and 37 people were injured (including 19 staff members) in the October 2 attack. International humanitarian law – also known as the Law of Armed Conflict – requires all state and non-state parties to a conflict to respect and protect civilian populations in the conduct of their military operations. Directing attacks against a facility established to shelter the wounded, the sick and civilians from the effects of hostilities is prohibited.

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