Hospital bombing was 'our mistake', US admits
The deadly American attack on a hospital in Afghanistan occurred despite "rigorous" military procedures designed to avoid such mistakes, a top US commander has admitted.
General John F. Campbell also told a US Senate committee he thinks President Barack Obama should revise the current plan to reduce the US force in Afghanistan at the end of 2016. The plan calls for cutting the force from 9,800 to about 1,000 embassy-based security.
Giving evidence three days after the medical clinic strike that killed at least 22 people, General Campbell said Afghan forces requested air support on Saturday while engaged in combat with Taliban fighters in the city of Kunduz, communicating with US special operations troops at the scene.
Those US forces were in contact with the AC-130 gunship that fired on the medical clinic run by Doctors Without Borders, he added.
"To be clear, the decision to provide (air strikes) was a US decision, made within the US chain of command," General Campbell said. "The hospital was mistakenly struck. We would never intentionally target a protected medical facility."
Anti-war protesters sat in the front row of yesterday's hearing with red colouring, depicting blood, on their faces.