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Sputnik, March 18, 2016

US Weak Penalties for Afghan Hospital Bombing Insult Victims’ Families

The US military noncriminal administrative penalties to personnel involved with the bombing of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan last October is an insult to the relatives of those killed, a US human rights group said in a blog post.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Department of Defense spokesman Christopher Sherwood told Sputnik that US service members associated with an attack on a Doctors Without Borders medical facility in Kunduz were suspended and referred for administrative action.

"For good reason the victims’ family members will see this as both an injustice and an insult: the US military investigated itself and decided no crimes had been committed," Human Rights Watch Senior Researcher Patricia Gossman stated in a post on Thursday.

Gossman added that the US military justice system’s poor record of prosecuting alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq illustrates the necessity for a criminal inquiry "outside the military chain of command."

On October 3, 2015, a US AC-130 gunship aircraft shot 30mm cannon shells for 30 minutes into a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, killing more than 40 medical staff and patients, including children.

In late November 2015, US forces Commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Campbell told reporters the Kunduz bombing was an avoidable mistake caused by human error.


Aftermath of airstrike attack by US forces Kunduz Afghanistan on MSF clinice
Oct. 3, 2015: Aftermath of airstrike by US forces on MSF clinic in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (Photo: PAN)

These MSF staff appear to be in shock following airstrike attack by US forces Kunduz Afghanistan
Oct. 3, 2015: These MSF staff appear to be in shock following the attack. (Photo: MSF)

MSF says surgery took place in the undamaged parts of the hospital following the attack after US airstrike in Kunduz Afghanistan
Oct. 3, 2015: MSF says surgery took place in the undamaged parts of the hospital following the attack. (Photo: MSF)

Kunduz MSF hospital bombed by NATO
Oct. 3, 2015: The aftermath of an airstrike carried out by the US on the MSF clinic in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (Photo: MSF)

Category: US-NATO, HR Violations - Views: 3062