At least three staff from Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) Trauma centre in northern Kunduz province were killed in a coalition troops airstrike early Saturday, MSF said in a statement.
“At 2.10am on Saturday October 03 the Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) Trauma centre in Kunduz was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged,” the statement said.
Not says it is investigating.
In a statement issued Saturday morning NATO said: “US forces conducted an air strike in Kunduz city at 02:15 (local time)… against individuals threatening the force” adding that the strike may have caused damage to a nearby medical facility.
The MSF statement meanwhile said that “three MSF staff are confirmed dead and more than 30 are unaccounted for. The medical team is working around the clock to do everything possible for the safety of patients and hospital staff.”
“We are deeply shocked by the attack, the killing of our staff and patients and the heavy toll it has inflicted on healthcare in Kunduz,” says Bart Janssens, MSF Director of Operations.
“We do not yet have the final casualty figures, but our medical team are providing first aid and treating the injured patients and MSF personnel and accounting for the deceased. We urge all parties to respect the safety of health facilities and staff.”
Since fighting broke out on Monday, MSF has treated 394 wounded, the statement read. “When the aerial attack occurred this morning we had 105 patients and their care-takers in the hospital and over 80 MSF international and national staff present.”
MSF’s hospital is the only facility of its kind in the whole north-eastern region of Afghanistan, providing free life- and limb-saving trauma care. MSF doctors treat all people according to their medical needs and do not make distinctions based on a patient’s ethnicity, religious beliefs or political affiliation, read the statement.
MSF started working in Afghanistan in 1980. In Kunduz, just like in the rest of Afghanistan, both national and international staff work together to ensure the best quality of treatment. MSF supports the Ministry of Public Health in Ahmad Shah Baba hospital in eastern Kabul, Dasht-e-Barchi maternity in western Kabul and Boost hospital in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province. In Khost, in the east of the country, MSF operates a maternity hospital. MSF relies only on private funding for its work in Afghanistan and does not accept money from any government, the statement concluded.