Masoom Stanekzai says Taliban insurgents and possibly Pakistani operatives used MSF facility in Kunduz as ‘safe place’
Afghanistan’s acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanekzai claimed on Monday that the hospital in northern city of Kunduz, which was bombed by US forces on October 3, was being used by Taliban insurgents fighting government forces.
“Taliban insurgents and possibly Pakistani operatives had used the Doctors Without Borders facility in the city of Kunduz as a safe place,” the Associated Press quoted Stanekzai as saying.
Pakistan-US ties may sour again following Kunduz allegations
The bombing at the Medecins Sans Frontieres-run (MSF) hospital left at least 22 people dead while injuring several others. The main building was destroyed and the hospital has closed.
The Afghan defence minister further claimed that a Taliban flag had been hoisted on the walls around the hospital compound, saying Afghanistan will not support an independent investigation.
The MSF, however, besides calling for an independent investigation into the incident has repeatedly denied the presence of Taliban fighters at the time of attack.
Read: Pakistani operative was using MSF hospital in Afghanistan as Taliban command post: report
On October 7, US President Barack Obama apologised to MSF for the deadly US air strike on the Afghan hospital.
The attack caused global revulsion and caused MSF to close the hospital’s trauma centre, seen as a lifeline in a war-battered region with scant medical care.
Further, three separate probes — by the US military, Nato and Afghan officials — are under way into the catastrophic strike in the northern Afghan city.
US troops use vehicle to force gate at bombed Afghan hospital
Last week, US troops had driven a military vehicle through the gates of the hospital in an incident that MSF said may have damaged evidence relating to the attack. The US delegation began negotiating with several foreign MSF doctors, insisting upon being allowed into the hospital as part of their investigation into the catastrophic strike. The discussions lasted for around an hour and a half, with the troops allowed to enter only after laying down their arms.
This article originally appeared on Yahoo News.