According to the Associated Press, more than a dozen U.S. military personnel have been disciplined over mistakes that led to the October bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Forty-two people were killed; no criminal charges have been filed.
On October 3, a U.S. Air Force special operations AC-130 gunship bombarded a Medecins Sans Frantieres hospital that Afghan officials said had been overrun by Taliban fighters—it had not. Earlier reports indicated that some personnel were suspended subsequent to the incident.
President Obama has apologized for the attack, and Army Gen. John Campbell, who was the top American commander in Afghanistan at the time of the incident, said it was a “tragic but avoidable accident caused primarily by human error.” From the AP:
The punishments, which have not been publicly announced, are largely administrative. But in some cases the actions, such as letters of reprimand, are tough enough to effectively end chances for further promotion. The military has previously said some personnel were suspended from their duties but has given no further details.
The disciplined include both officers and enlisted personnel, but officials said none are generals.
The officials, who were not authorized to discuss the outcomes publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity, said the disciplinary process is nearly complete. It is derived from a military investigation of the Oct. 3, 2015, attack, the results of which are expected to be made public in a partially redacted form in coming days.
Sandra Murillo, a spokeswoman for Doctors Without Borders, said the charity would not comment on disciplinary actions until the Pentagon communicates its decisions directly to the group or makes a public announcement.
The AP acquired one report conducted by the United States into the incident, which indicated that the AC-130 fired 211 shells at the MSF compound in less than half an hour before word reached the crew that there had been a targeting mistake.
The primary U.S. military investigation, completed on November 15, is 5,000 pages long. U.S. Central Command rejected Freedom of Information Act requests from both the AP and Gawker for the report in December.