- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 24, 2015

Gen. John F. Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan has appointed two-star Maj. Gen. William B. Hickman to lead a much-anticipated probe into the deadly bombing of a charity hospital in northern Afghanistan, his office announced Saturday.

The announcement comes as the death toll in the bombing rose once again, three weeks after U.S. warplanes repeatedly bombed the Doctors Without Borders trauma center in Kunduz at the request of Afghan forces combatting Taliban militants.  

Doctors Without Border said the casualty figures now stood at 23 staff members and patients killed and three others missing are presumed dead, The New York Times reported

Officials are still trying to confirm the identities of seven unrecognizable bodies found in the rubble of the hospital, the organization said in a statement Saturday. The three missing people could be among them. 

Gen. Hickman will lead the investigation of the incident along with three other senior commanders outside of Gen. Campbell’s command. 

“My intent is to disclose the findings of the investigation once it is complete,” Gen. Campbell said. “We will be forthright and transparent and we will hold ourselves accountable for any mistakes made.”

But Doctors Without Borders has said the Pentagon’s investigation is not enough, and has demanded the UN activate its own investigatory panel under the Geneva Convention to probe what it says is a war crime. 

Shortly after the Oct. 3 bombing, Gen. Campbell told lawmakers that the hospital was mistakenly struck and said that the U.S. military would never intentionally target a medical facility. He said that strike was requested by Afghan forces who claimed militants were operating in the building.

 

 

 

 


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