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Afghan Defense Minister: Taliban Hid in Bombed Hospital

FILE - The hospital in Kunduz after an alleged U.S. airstrike Saturday 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.

Afghanistan's acting defense minister says the hospital that was bombed by U.S. forces was being used by insurgents who were fighting government forces.

Masoom Stanekzai said on Monday that Taliban insurgents and possibly Pakistani operatives had used the Doctors Without Borders facility in the city of Kunduz as a “safe place.”

The hospital was bombed by a U.S. AC-130 gunship in the early hours of Oct. 3, killing at least 22 people and injuring many more. The main building was destroyed and the hospital has closed.

The medical charity has repeatedly denied the presence of Taliban fighters at the time.

Stanekzai said a Taliban flag had been hoisted on the walls around the hospital compound. He added that Afghanistan will not support an independent investigation, as the charity has demanded.