Some in military suspended for deadly Afghan hospital attack

Published 2:44 pm Wednesday, November 25, 2015

WASHINGTON  — American soldiers and airmen who killed and wounded dozens of civilians in a strike on an Afghanistan hospital violated U.S. rules of engagement and have been suspended as they await disciplinary action that could include criminal charges, military officials said Wednesday.

Briefing reporters on the results of two investigations, Gen. John Campbell, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, described an egregious series of human and technical failures that led a U.S. warplane to destroy a medical charity’s hospital in northern Afghanistan last month. Campbell and other officials would not say how many people had been removed from their jobs or whether anyone higher in the chain of command would be subject to discipline.

“This was a tragic but avoidable accident caused primarily by human error,” Campbell said. He left open the possibility that disciplinary action, which has yet to be determined, could include courts-martial.

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Christopher Stokes, general director of Doctors Without Borders, whose hospital was attacked, said the U.S. military’s statements Wednesday left his organization with more questions than answers.

“The frightening catalog of errors outlined today illustrates gross negligence on the part of U.S. forces and violations of the rules of war,” Stokes said.