MSF Afghanistan hospital airstrike death toll reaches 42

The death toll from the in northern Afghanistan in early October has risen to 42, the aid organisation has said.

The increase from the previous total of 30 deaths comes after two months of investigations into the airstrikes that mistakenly destroyed the facility in Kunduz.

The revised figure includes the 14 MSF staff who were killed, as well as 24 patients and four people known as caretakers, who provided additional nursing care for patients. MSF said on Saturday the revised total followed “methodical review of MSF records and family claims, as well as patient, staff and family testimonies”.

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Patient files and medical records were destroyed in the fire that followed the missile strikes, but the charity said that extensive efforts had been made to identify those who died including cross-checking with other hospitals in .

This week MSF signed by 547,000 people to the White House calling for an independent investigation into the US airstrike, which wiped out the only hospital in the region.

Gen John Campbell, the US commander in Afghanistan, said in November the strike was “”, but did not say whether there would be an independent investigation.

The petition urged Barack Obama to by the international humanitarian fact-finding commission – an independent body that was created under international law but has never been used.

People hold signs during an event to mark the delivery to the White House of a petition requesting an investigation into the attack on the MSF hospital in Kunduz. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

MSF has criticised US forces for “gross negligence” over the hospital strike, which also triggered calls for an independent investigation from . Jason Cone, executive director of MSF in the US, said: “Only a full accounting by an independent, international body can restore our confidence in the commitments of the United States to uphold the , which prohibit such attacks on hospitals in the strongest terms.

“It is not sufficient for the perpetrators of attacks on medical facilities to be the only investigators.”

A non-binding resolution passed in the European parliament also urged an independent investigation into the hit.

In 2004, five MSF staff were murdered after working at a rural health clinic in northern Afghanistan. The killings : the first time it had left a country because of security concerns. It returned in 2009.

The charity was in 1999.

Source : theguardian[dot]com
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