NewsNews

US President Barack Obama promises thorough probe into suspected US airstrike on hospital

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
US President Barack Obama promises thorough probe into suspected US airstrike on hospital

US President Barack Obama has promised a thorough probe into a suspected US airstrike on a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz that killed 19 people.

"On behalf of the American people, I extend my deepest condolences to the medical professionals and other civilians killed and injured in the tragic incident at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz," he said in a statement released by the White House.

"The Department of Defense has launched a full investigation, and we will await the results of that inquiry before making a definitive judgment as to the circumstances of this tragedy," President Obama said.

The attack early yesterday left the building engulfed in flames, and dozens more people seriously wounded, with photos posted by Medecins Sans Frontieres showing their staff shocked and dazed.

The medical charity said its staff phoned military officials at NATO in Kabul and Washington during the morning attack, but bombs continued to rain down for nearly an hour.

MSF said it had given the location of the hospital to both Afghan and US forces several times in the past few months, most recently this week, to avoid being caught in crossfire.

At least three children, four adult patients and 12 MSF personnel died in the blasts, the aid group said.

At least 37 people were wounded and many are still missing, it added.