UN Releases Damning Kunduz Report

UN Releases Damning Kunduz ReportUN Releases Damning Kunduz Report

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has released a report on human rights abuses during the battle over Kunduz. Doctors Without Borders, MSF, has upped the death toll from US strike on its hospital to 42.

The UN report , released on Saturday, documents 289 deaths and 559 civilian injuries that occurred in Kunduz and the surrounding districts between September 28 and October 13, AFP reported. “The vast majority of casualties documented so far resulted from ground fighting that could not be attributed solely to one party,” it stated. Kunduz, the capital of the eponymous province, was held by the Taliban for three days before a government counter-offensive was launched that dragged on for two weeks, as Afghan troops battled Taliban fighters for control of the city.

Chaos in the city “enabled an environment in which civilians were subjected to arbitrary killings, assault, other forms of violence, including gender-based violence, threats and widespread criminality”, the report stated.

A subsequent Afghan investigation concluded that weak leadership, misuse of resources and lack of coordination between services were the main reasons Kunduz fell to the Taliban.

  MSF Accuses US Military of War Crime

The medical charity Doctors Without Borders has said the strike on the hospital by a AC-130 gunship lasted nearly an hour and left patients burning in their beds with some victims decapitated and suffering traumatic amputations. The Pentagon blamed the deaths on “human error” by its forces.

“Previously MSF had reported a death toll of at least 30 people, but the organization confirms the toll has risen to 42, after methodical review of MSF records and family claims, as well as patient, staff and family testimonies,” MSF said in a statement.

Pressure is growing for an international inquiry into the October 3 raid on the hospital, which came as NATO-backed Afghan forces clashed with insurgents for control of Kunduz.

MSF has repeatedly called for an independent investigation, delivering a petition signed by 547,000 people to the White House. But so far neither the US nor Afghanistan has agreed to an independent probe.

Guilhem Molinie, MSF’s Afghanistan director, said its staffers had given their lives treating people trapped in a war zone.

“We ask President Obama to honor their work and their memory by consenting to a truly independent, international investigation,” he said in a statement on Saturday.