News / Asia

    US Afghan Commander Apologizes for Errant Strike

    FILE - U.S. Army General John Nicholson speaks during a change of command ceremony in Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 2, 2016.
    FILE - U.S. Army General John Nicholson speaks during a change of command ceremony in Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 2, 2016.
    Ayaz Gul

    The new commander of the U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan has apologized to residents of Kunduz for a U.S. airstrike on a hospital that killed 42 people.

    U.S. Army General John Nicholson met in Kunduz with representatives of the medical charity Doctors Without Borders and family members of the victims to express his condolences over what he called a “horrible tragedy.”

    The deadly airstrike occurred on October 3 in which a U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunship attacked the hospital, killing doctors and patients among others.

    “I grieve with you for your loss and suffering; and humbly and respectfully ask for your forgiveness,” said General Nicholson.

    FILE - The hospital in Kunduz after airstrike killed at least 19 people, including three children, according to officials with the international medical charity Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF.
    FILE - The hospital in Kunduz after airstrike killed at least 19 people, including three children, according to officials with the international medical charity Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF.

    “As commander, I wanted to come to Kunduz personally and stand before the families, and people of Kunduz, to deeply apologize for the events which destroyed the hospital and caused the deaths of the hospital staff, patients and family members," Nicholson said.

    Personnel disciplined

    The U.S. military has disciplined more than a dozen personnel for mistakes that led to the sustained bombing of the only medical facility in the city that was briefly overrun by the Taliban.

    Afghan officials insisted the insurgents were using the hospital as a base for attacks on Afghan security forces but offered no evidence to support the claims.

    Afghan Defense Minister Masoom Stanekzai, and Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Jahid accompanied Nicholson to Kunduz.

    General Nicolson also discussed with provincial officials his Resolute Support mission’s commitment to the Afghan security forces as they prepare for the upcoming “spring offensive”, a coalition statement said, referring to the traditional fighting season during warmer months in Afghanistan.

    FILE - A US soldier directs his colleagues at the site a bomb attack that targeted several armored vehicles belonging to forces attached to the NATO Resolute Support Mission, in downtown of Kabul.
    FILE - A US soldier directs his colleagues at the site a bomb attack that targeted several armored vehicles belonging to forces attached to the NATO Resolute Support Mission, in downtown of Kabul.

    “You may have heard that the Taliban want to take Kunduz again, they will not,” stated Nicholson, adding the coalition remained committed to the safety and security of the people of Afghanistan.

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    by: Edward from: Texas
    March 22, 2016 1:37 PM
    The tide of war is changing. Our enemies use their own children, women, and any other person that get drawn into their idealism. It has been a while seance the USA was considered a real threat by our enemies abroad. Our leaders seem to have forgotten how to fight a war. We need to take the stance Shaka Zulu took after getting attached by someone he left alive as a boy that grew up and tried to kill him. After this he figured it out and said, "never leave an enemy standing. All the good generals we had Obama got rid of because of unknown reasons. We have to prove we are the most powerful nation on the planet ! Not apologizing.

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