Obama Apologizes for Kunduz Hospital Attack


Washington: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday apologized to the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) over the US military’s deadly bombing on a MSF hospital in Afghanistan’s Kunduz area, while the medical charity pressed for its demand of an international investigation terming the incident a war crime.

MSF said that an independent humanitarian commission created under the Geneva Conventions in 1991 should be activated for the first time to handle the inquiry. Three investigations have already begun into Saturday’s air strike that killed 22 people, including 12 MSF staff.

Obama telephoned MSF, or Doctors Without Borders, International President Joanne Liu to apologize and express his condolences, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. Asked whether Obama offered some explanation to Liu, Earnest said no.

“He merely offered his heartfelt apology” and a commitment to find out what went wrong, he said.

Earnest said Obama told Liu that a U.S. investigation would “provide a transparent, thorough and objective accounting of the facts and circumstances of the incident. And that, if necessary, the president would implement changes to make tragedies like this one less likely to occur in the future.”

MSF said that the commission’s inquiry would gather facts and evidence from the United States, NATO and Afghanistan, as well as testimony from MSF staff and patients who survived.