US: ‘Human error’ caused deadly strike on Afghanistan hospital

26th Nov 2015
US: ‘Human error’ caused deadly strike on Afghanistan hospital
WASHINGTON (AA) – An airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) hospital in Afghanistan that killed 30 victims was “caused primarily by human error”, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday.

Army Gen. John Campbell briefed reporters via video conference on details of a joint investigation by the U.S., NATO and Afghan government into the strike.

“The report determined that the U.S. strike upon the MSF trauma center in Kunduz City, Afghanistan, was the direct result of human error, compounded by systems and procedural failures,” said Campbell.

He said the report found that pilots wrongly identified the MSF hospital and not the actual target that located a few hundred meters away.

Campbell acknowledged that MSF had informed U.S. operational headquarters in Afghanistan about the coordinates of the medical facility and the military saved it to a no airstrike list five days before the bombing.

Headquarters received the coordinates of a location where Taliban fighters were located.

But on the way to the position, electronic systems malfunctioned aboard the A-130 bomber, eliminating “the ability of aircraft to transmit video, send and receive e-mail or send and receive electronic messages,” said Campbell.

Pilots also changed the aircraft position by an eight-mile distance from the original reported position, believing that the plane was under missile attack. That caused targeting systems to define an open area as the reported target.

Rather than waiting for electronic systems to recover or checking with headquarters, a pilot reported that he was able to see the target a few hundred meters away. That was instead the MSF compound.

When the aircraft reached its original position the plane’s grid location system indicated the correct target but the pilot proceeded to the medical facility rather than relying on the system, according to Campbell.

He said that the pilots forwarded the coordinates of the hospital to headquarters one minute before the airstrike but personnel failed to check the coordinates against the no-airstrike list.

Those associated with airstrike have been suspended pending administrative and disciplinary investigations, said Campbell.

The Oct. 2 strike on the MSF hospital killed 30 victims and wounded 37 others.

Campbell said that he briefed Gen. Philip Breedlove, the top U.S. commander for NATO, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Afghan Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, on the results of the investigation.

NATO is expected to release the report in coming days.

 
Author: Kasım İleri
[Photo: Victims of US bombing of Kunduz, Afghanistan, hospital being treated in Mazar-e-Sharif Region. Photographer: Syed Khodaberdi Sadat/AA]

Leave a Comment

What is 7 + 6 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets