Bombing of MSF hospital in Afghanistan must be properly investigated: Union

12 staff members killed in hospital bombing, more injured

The Oct. 3 bombing of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that killed 12 staff members and at least 10 patients, along with injuring 37 people including 19 medical workers, must be thoroughly, independently and transparently investigated, according to the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE.

The bombing was protracted and continued long after the staff had reported to the military they were bombing a hospital. It occurred despite the fact the co-ordinates of the hospital had been given repeatedly to the military, as recently as Sept. 29.

It is a war crime to deliberately target a hospital or medical unit.

"Our members have the highest respect for the compassion and integrity of the MSF (Doctors Without Borders) missions in countries like Afghanistan. We are horrified that doctors, nurses, support staff and the patients for whom they were providing medical care were targeted. We strongly support the call for a full, independent and transparent investigation," said Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE.

"We call on the Canadian government, which is a partner in the coalition in Afghanistan, to insist that medical units and hospitals be strictly off limits for bombing missions or other attacks," said Hurley.

The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE represents 30,000 nurses, cleaners, paramedics, trades, food-service, clerical and support staff at hospitals in Ontario.

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