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Death toll in Afghan hospital bombing rises to 19

The death toll by a U.S. airstrike at a hospital run by a medical aid group in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz city has raised to 19 with 37 people injured, MSF said on Saturday.

At early hours of Saturday, the air raid struck the Medecins Sans Frontieres or MSF hospital in Kunduz city, capital of northern Kunduz province.

Earlier, U.S. forces in Afghanistan which support Afghan forces in the war on Taliban militants and terrorists said that investigation has been initiated into the case.

“Twelve staff members and at least seven patients, including three children, were killed; 37 people were injured including 19 staff members. This attack constitutes a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law,” the aid group said in a statement issued here.

“There are many patients and staff who remain unaccounted for. The numbers may grow as a clearer picture develops of the aftermath of this horrific bombing,” the statement said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani expressed sorrow over the incident, saying he has been sadden and was sorry about MSF doctors’ death in Kunduz, a statement by Afghan presidential palace said earlier on the day.

The MSF “condemned in the strongest possible terms the horrific bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, which was full of staff and patients. MSF wishes to clarify that all parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location (GPS Coordinates) of the MSF facilities in Kunduz, including the hospital, guesthouse, office and an outreach stabilization unit in Chardara northwest of Kunduz,” the statement added.

In a surprise attack, Taliban militants captured major parts of Kunduz city 250 km north of Kabul on Monday and government forces started counter-offensive on Thursday, and so far, according to Kunduz police, hundreds of Taliban militants have been killed.

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