A U.S. investigation into the Oct. 3 bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan that killed 30 people including several children concluded that the tragedy was an avoidable accident that occurred primarily due to “human error.”
U.S. Army General John Campbell, who leads international forces in Afghanistan, released the findings of a 3,000-page investigation. Campbell said some U.S. personnel were suspended and could face disciplinary action after failing to follow U.S. rules of engagement in a war zone, ABC News reports.
Campbell told reporters the crew of the AC-130 gunship mistakenly believed they were targeting a building several hundred meters away that had been taken over by the Taliban. In addition to the 30 killed, 37 additional doctors and patients were wounded.
The investigation determined the airstrike “was a direct result of human error compounded by systems and signals failure.”
“Those who called and conducted the strike did not take procedures to verify this was a legitimate target,” Campbell told reporters Wednesday.
After the results of the investigation were released, Christopher Stokes, the general director of Doctors Without Borders (known internationally as Medecins Sans Frontieres), said the tragedy illustrated “gross negligence” by U.S. forces.
“The frightening catalog of errors outlined today illustrates gross negligence on the part of U.S. forces and violations of the rules of war,” Stokes said in his statement, per Reuters. “MSF reiterates its call for an independent and impartial investigation into the attack on our hospital in Kunduz.”
Campbell confirmed the hospital was on a no-strike list and that the organization called U.S. forces during the attack. The general went on to describe numerous mistakes that allowed the tragedy to unfold as it did, despite the call.