Physicians for Social Responsibility is deeply disturbed by the deadly bombing, on the morning of October 3, of the Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) Trauma Centre, in Kunduz, Afghanistan. News accounts indicate that this U.S. air strike killed 12 medical staff members and at least 10 patients.
PSR sends its condolences and support to the families and friends of the civilians killed in this attack. In solidarity with Médecins Sans Frontières, PSR supports an independent investigation under the auspices of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.
It is yet unclear how the Trauma Centre came to be attacked. But it is clear that this well-known institution, bravely operating within a sea of chaos and suffering, has been vital to the citizens of Kunduz. We are appalled by the destruction of this powerful symbol of life, healing and humanity.
As Pope Francis recently stated at the UN, “War is the negation of all rights and a dramatic assault on the environment.” Physicians see first-hand the consequences of war, and understand that the survivors and perpetrators of this incident will suffer from its psychological impact. This event calls into question yet again the morality of aerial bombardment in civilian areas, which leads to innocent lives being lost indiscriminately. We must vigorously pursue diplomacy instead of continuing warfare, and invest our resources in healing and health rather than death and destruction.
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For a look at the Médecins Sans Frontières Trauma Centre in Kunduz, both before and after the bombing, watch this 4 minute video posted at the MSF website: