Obama Apologizes to Doctors Without Borders for Hospital Bombing

© REUTERS / Medecins Sans Frontieres/Handout via ReutersAfghan (MSF) surgeons work inside a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital after an air strike in the city of Kunduz, Afghanistan in this October 3, 2015
Afghan (MSF) surgeons work inside a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital after an air strike in the city of Kunduz, Afghanistan in this October 3, 2015 - Sputnik International
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US President Barack Obama assured Doctors Without Borders International President Dr. Joanne Liu that the Department of Defense investigation, currently underway, would provide a transparent investigation of bombing of hospital in Afghanistan, according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

The burned Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen after explosions in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama has telephoned Doctors Without Borders to state his regret over the bombing of the organization’s hospital in Afghanistan, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Wednesday.

“The President assured [Doctors Without Borders International President] Dr. [Joanne] Liu that the Department of Defense investigation, currently underway, would provide a transparent, thorough and objective accounting of the facts and circumstances of the incident,” Earnest stated. “[I]f necessary, the President would implement changes that would make tragedies like this one less likely to occur in the future.”

Some 22 people, including 12 Doctors Without Borders staff were killed as a result of the US airstrike in Kunduz on October 3.

Doctors Without Borders called the attack a war crime and said it would conduct an independent investigation into the incident.

The Doctors Without Borders trauma center is seen in flames, after explosions near their hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz - Sputnik International
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Earnest refused to validate claims made by Doctors Without Border on the incident being deemed a war crime.

"[T]he use of that term carries a certain legal meaning, and… the Department of Defense… takes as many precautions as anybody else does… to prevent the innocent loss of life in operations that they carry out," Earnest said.

Earnest concluded that President Obama felt he had enough knowledge of the incident to give a formal apology to Liu and the rest of the Doctors Without Borders team.

On Wednesday, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad told Sputnik that Western countries are trying to divert attention from the Kunduz bombing incident by accusing Russia of killing civilians in Syria.

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