About 16 military disciplines in Afghan hospital attack
Washington — About 16 U.S. military personnel, including one general officer, have been disciplined for mistakes that led to the bombing of a civilian hospital in Afghanistan last year that killed 42 people, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.
According to officials, no criminal charges were filed and the service members received administrative punishments in connection with the U.S. airstrike in the northern city of Kunduz. A number of those punished are U.S. special operations forces.
And while none was sent to court martial, in many cases a nonjudicial punishment, such as a letter of reprimand or suspension, can effectively end a military career. The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, so spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Pentagon is expected to release the full report on the investigation on Friday.
Last month, the Associated Press reported that more than a dozen U.S. military personnel had been disciplined in connection with the bombing, and that they were all largely administrative.
The hospital, run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz, was attacked by a U.S. Air Force special operations AC-130 gunship.
Last November, the U.S. military said the crew of the AC-130, which is armed with side-firing cannons and guns, had been dispatched to hit a Taliban command center in a different building, 450 yards away from the hospital. However, hampered by problems with their targeting sensors, the crew relied on a physical description that led them to begin firing at the hospital even though they saw no hostile activity there.
Officials have said the accident was caused by human error, and that many chances to avert the incident were missed.