Thirty people were unaccounted for, MSF said, and it expects the number of people killed or injured to go up. He said that the bombing had been heavy and that it was possible that more than one bomb had been dropped.
The new leader of the Afghan Taliban boasted in a phone call with The Associated Press on Friday that the group’s three-day occupation of the northern city of Kunduz was a “symbolic victory” demonstrating the insurgents’ strength, even as his fighters were fleeing under fire from Afghan government troops.
When the aerial attack occurred, 105 patients and their caretakers were in the hospital.
The strike “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility”, he said in a statement. “This incident is under investigation”.
The blackened building was filled with the smell of burning flesh and a few bodies were charred beyond recognition, said Qiamudeen, a 31-year-old shopkeeper whose neighbour was killed in the strike. “The medical staff in the city can not get to the hospitals because of the on-going fighting.”The ICRC said it has emergency medical supplies ready to be flown in as soon as security at Kunduz airport improves”. “The Taliban are still resisting in the city”, resident Wali Mohammed said.
“We are deeply shocked by the attack, the killing of our staff and patients and the heavy toll it has inflicted on health care in Kunduz”, the group said in a statement.
“People who said we were a small force with an unchosen leader can now see how wrong they were about the potential and strength my people have”, he said.
He stated, I urge all parties to the conflict to uphold their obligations under worldwide humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians and to take all feasible steps to prevent the loss of life and injuries to civilians.
“This is an appalling tragedy”, the global Committee of the Red Cross said about Saturday’s strike.
Amnesty global condemned the insurgents’ “reign of terror” in Kunduz, citing civilian testimonies of mass murder, gang rapes and house-to-house searches by militant death squads.
The renewed energy of the Taliban offensive has also undermined support for President Ashraf Ghani, who has just marked a year in office, and raised questions about Washington’s plan to withdraw most United States troops from Afghanistan next year.
“The U.S. Embassy mourns for the individuals and families affected by the tragic incident at the Doctors without Borders hospital, and for all those suffering from the violence in Kunduz”, it read.
In a statement, the Taliban accused “barbaric American forces” of deliberately carrying out Saturday’s strike, which “killed and wounded tens of doctors, nurses and patients”.
“Our mujahideen have shot down a four-engine U.S. aircraft in Jalalabad”, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.
But there has been an escalation in air strikes by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in recent months despite the drawdown.