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U.S. will compensate victims of MSF Kunduz hospital bombing

By Andrew V. Pestano
U.S. will compensate victims of MSF Kunduz hospital bombing
The United States will financially compensate victims of the airstrike carried out on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. U.S. forces in Afghanistan Commander Gen. John Campbell confirmed Monday that the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz was struck by a U.S. airstrike after Afghan forces called for air support. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The United States will financially compensate victims of the airstrike carried out on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Doctors Without Borders, known officially as Médecins Sans Frontières, has continuously condemned the United States for carrying out an airstrike conducted by an AC-130 gunship on the hospital on Oct. 3, killing at least 10 patients and 12 MSF staff.

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"The Department of Defense believes it is important to address the consequences of the tragic incident at the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement. "One step the Department can take is to make condolence payments to civilian non-combatants injured and the families of civilian non-combatants killed as a result of U.S. military operations."

The payments will be allowed under the authority of the Commanders' Emergency Response Program. U.S. forces in Afghanistan will also make payments to repair the hospital.

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"If necessary and appropriate, the administration will seek additional authority from the Congress," the statement adds.

There are more than 30 patients and MSF Kunduz hospital staff still unaccounted for.

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday apologized for the devastating strike. MSF has called for the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, created under the Geneva Conventions, to investigate.

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"It is unacceptable that the bombing of a hospital and the killing of staff and patients can be dismissed as collateral damage or brushed aside as a mistake," MSF International President Dr. Joanne Liu said at a press conference in Geneva. "This was not just an attack on our hospital. It was an attack on the Geneva Conventions. This cannot be tolerated."

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