US to make ‘condolence payments’ to compensate Kunduz hospital bombing victims’ families – Pentagon

Fires burn in part of the MSF hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz after it was hit by an air strike on October 3, 2015 © MSF

The US Department of Defense will work on compensating the families of the victims killed in a deadly American airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The strike “mistakenly” killed 22 people.

On Saturday, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement that it is “important to address the consequences of the tragic incident at the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.”

“US Forces-Afghanistan has the authority to make condolence payments and payments toward repair of the hospital. USFOR-A will work with those affected to determine appropriate payments. If necessary and appropriate, the administration will seek additional authority from the Congress,” Cook said.

READ MORE: Obama ‘apologized’ to MSF for Kunduz hospital strike – White House

Earlier on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama apologized for the October 3 bombing, saying that the MSF hospital had been “mistakenly struck.” Prior to that, Washington’s story confusingly changed four times in four days – from “not knowing for certain” that it had struck a hospital at the same time as the US forces were “taking fire in Kunduz” to laying the blame on the Afghan government for requesting the bombardment.

Finally, the commander of the US-NATO Afghan mission, General John Campbell, clarified on Monday that the strike had indeed been requested by Kabul, but that it had been US forces who had called in and directed the assault.

“It still has to go through a rigorous US procedure to enable fires to go on the ground. We had a special operations unit that was in close vicinity that was talking to the aircraft that delivered those fires,” he said.

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