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MSF withdraws staff from Kunduz after deadly airstrikes on hospital

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Doctors without Borders, the international medical charity, said on Sunday that it has withdrawn from Kunduz city after the fatal airstrikes on its hospital left 19 killed and several injured.

The group’s communications manager Kate Stegeman said that some staff is still working in other health facilities in the city where troops are battling Taliban insurgents.

All serious patients have been shifted to other health facilities and no MSF staff is working in our hospital, she said, using the French acronym for the organization.

She furthered that some of the staff have gone to work in two other hospitals where wounded people have been taken. Investigations have been underway on the fatal airstrikes, which killed at least 19 people, including 12 MSF workers.

The group blames a US airstrike. Afghan officials said that Taliban fighters were hiding in the facility.

Stegeman said that there were no insurgents in the facility when airstrikes hit the hospital. AP video footage of the burned out compound in the east of Kunduz city shows automatic weapons, including rifles and at least one machine gun, on windowsills.

President Ashraf Ghani said that a joint investigation is underway with US forces. President Barak Obama said that he expected a full accounting of the bombing hospital.

The Taliban insurgent captured the city a week ago, but Afghan forces pushed them back from much parts of the city and the battle is still continued as troops attempt to clear remaining Taliban fighters, hiding at civilian houses.

Afghan forces have been struggling to combat the Taliban since the US and Nato shifted to a support and training role at the end of last year, officially ending their combat mission in the war-torn country.

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