Inside the hospital that America attacked in Kunduz

The remains of a bed frame in a room on the eastern wing of the Outpatient Department building, at the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Hospital
The remains of a bed frame in a room on the eastern wing of the Outpatient Department building, at the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Hospital   Photo: ANDREW QUILTY/foreignpolicy.com​
Rob Crilly
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There is nothing left of the outpatient department but a blackened shell, the metal skeletons of beds and the charred bones of their patients.

The first photographs from inside an Afghan hospital, operated by Médicins Sans Frontières, show the extraordinary power of destruction unleashed by an American AC-130 gunship in one terrifying hour.

Barack Obama has apologised to the charity for mistakenly attacking the medical facility in the northern city of Kunduz, as local forces battled Taliban fighters in the early hours of October 3.

So far, 22 people have been counted dead – including 12 MSF staffers and three children - although that figure is expected to rise.

Human remains seen in a doorway that opens into the central corridor of the Outpatient Department building.
Human remains seen in a doorway that opens into the central corridor of the Outpatient Department building.  Photo: ANDREW QUILTY/foreignpolicy.com

Photographs taken by Andrew Quilty and published by Foreign Policy illustrate the powerful force that killed them.

“Above the doorways, black soot stains streaked up toward the ceiling. Throughout the building, on all visible surfaces, there were wild and sporadic arcs of bullet holes. In other places, larger rounds had penetrated straight through the walls, leaving gaps some 2 feet wide in the solid brick,” wrote Mr Quilty.”

The damaged hospital in which the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical charity operated is seen on October 13, 2015 following an air strike in the northern city of Kunduz
The damaged hospital in which the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical charity operated is seen on October 13, 2015 following an air strike in the northern city of Kunduz  Photo: AFP/Getty Images

“Contained within the high compound walls, the smell of rot permeated from the main central building. Inside, masses of flies hummed over charred human remains.”

It is hard to imagine how the stinking rooms once made up a thriving hospital. The trauma centre in Kunduz was the only medical facility in the region capable of dealing with major injuries and had received hundreds of casualties during the latest fighting.

Interactive: Kunduz locator

MSF says its co-ordinates were well known to the Nato-led coalition providing air support to Afghan forces and has denied claims by local officials that the hospital was overrun by Taliban.

It says the attack may constitute a war crime and on Wednesday announced that an international panel of experts was ready to investigate.

An handout provided by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) shows fire in a hospital in Kunduz after the bombings, Kunduz, Afghanistan
An handout provided by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) shows fire in a hospital in Kunduz after the bombings, Kunduz, Afghanistan  Photo: EPA/MSF

Dr Joanne Liu, MSF international president, said: “We have received apologies and condolences, but this is not enough. We are still in the dark about why a well-known hospital full of patients and medical staff was repeatedly bombarded for more than an hour.

“We need to understand what happened and why."

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Source : telegraph[dot]co[dot]uk
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