EU lawmakers urge 'independent' probe into MSF hospital strike

26th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

The European Parliament urged Thursday an "independent" investigation into the US bombing of an MSF hospital in Afghanistan which killed 30 people in an attack the military blamed on human error.

A non-binding resolution passed by a show of hands said parliament "supports an independent investigation into the attack on the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Kunduz and calls for the neutrality of hospitals and medical facilities to be respected."

Lawmakers also strongly condemned recent Taliban attacks on the northern city, which sparked the US bombing run in early October.

The raid killed 30 people and forced Doctors without Borders (MSF) to close the trauma centre, the only one in the region, amid global outrage over the incident.

US General John Campbell said Wednesday in Kabul that fatigue compounded by decision-making and equipment failures was responsible.

Individuals involved in the attack had been suspended pending "standard military justice," Campbell said, without giving further details.

Campbell's spokesman refused to say if the US probe would be followed by an international investigation, which could possibly result in criminal charges against those involved.

MSF head Christopher Stokes told AFP in Brussels Thursday that the charity, which provides help in many of the world's most dangerous war zones, would continue to press for an independent and international enquiry.

In Thursday's resolution, MEPs also urged the Afghan government to do all it could to improve security and protection of civilians "forced to live in a growing climate of fear and intimidation."

© 2015 AFP

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