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US Disciplines 16 Over Afghanistan Hospital Bombing

  • VOA News

FILE - Afghan (L) talks to staff members in a charred corridor of the damaged Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in northern Kunduz.

FILE - Afghan (L) talks to staff members in a charred corridor of the damaged Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in northern Kunduz.

The Pentagon has disciplined 16 military personnel, including a two-star general, for their role in last year's mistaken airstrike on a hospital in Afghanistan that killed 42 people.

The hospital, run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, was attacked by an Air Force AC-130 gunship, one of the most lethal in the U.S. arsenal. Doctors Without Borders called the attack "relentless and brutal.''

None of those punished face criminal charges but in many cases a nonjudicial punishment, such as a letter of reprimand or suspension, can effectively end a military career.

General Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, which oversees the war in Afghanistan, is expected to announce the action Friday at a Pentagon briefing.

The airstrike occurred during an intense battle in Kunduz, after Taliban militants had seized the northern city.

A military report determined that the U.S. forces involved in the airstrike mistook the hospital for another compound that was serving as a Taliban headquarters.

Officials have said the accident was caused by human error, and that many chances to avert the incident were missed.

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