US military personnel face punishment over Afghan hospital strike

US military personnel involved in a devastating airstrike on a hospital run by in Afghanistan have been or will be punished, officials have said.

The – which came as Nato-backed Afghan forces clashed with insurgents for control of the northern provincial capital – left 42 people dead. The US military carried out an investigation and .

“I can tell you that those individuals most closely associated with the incident have been suspended from their duties and were referred for administrative action,” said Col Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for US central command.

More than 10 military personnel face administrative action, another official said. This could range from “negative counselling”, or being told not to do something again, to a letter of reprimand, which generally blocks further promotion, the official said. Removal of command is also a possibility.

Next week, the Pentagon is due to publish a version of its report on the Kunduz attack. It will be redacted to remove classified material. Barack Obama has apologised and the Pentagon has said it will pay compensation to the families of those killed.

Médecins Sans Frontières has called for an international investigation into the airstrike.

The attack came after the Taliban briefly seized Kunduz the previous month in their biggest military victory since being ousted after the US invasion of in late 2001.

Source : theguardian[dot]com
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