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Afghanistan: MSF staff killed and hospital partially destroyed in Kunduz
It is with deep sadness that we confirm the deaths of nine MSF staff and at least seven patients during last night's bombing of MSF’s hospital in Kunduz.
The latest update is that at least 16 people died; including nine MSF staff, seven patients from the Intensive care unit, among them three children. 37 people were injured in the strike including 19 staff (5 critical) and 18 patients and caretakers.
Médecins Sans Frontières condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific bombing of its hospital in Kunduz which was full of staff and patients at the time. MSF wishes to clarify that all parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location (GPS Coordinates) of the MSF facilities - hospital, guesthouse, office and an outreach stabilization unit in Chardara (to the north-west of Kunduz).
As MSF does in all conflict contexts, these precise locations were communicated to all parties on multiple occasions over the past months, including most recently on 29 September.
The bombing continued for more than 30 minutes after American and Afghan military officials in Kabul and Washington were informed. MSF urgently seeks clarity on exactly what took place and how this terrible event could have happened.
“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. 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.
Only facility of its kind
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.
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.