Dramatic photos reveal the devastating destruction inside the Doctors Without Borders hospital hit by U.S. air strikes in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The photos, taken by Andrew Quilty for Foreign Policy, show an eerie first glimpse into the hospital where 22 people lost their lives and 37 more were injured, according to the humanitarian group, also known by its French name Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF.
The photos show the hospital in ruin. Medical equipment and furniture charred by fire are thrown about the rooms and hallways. Parts of the walls have crumpled and much of the ceiling is destroyed.
Human remains can be seen in several of the photos. One gut-wrenching image shows a human foot on top of a largely intact hospital gown.
The hospital was struck by U.S. air support by mistake on Oct. 3 as Afghan forces and the Taliban battled for control of the city. U.S. special operations troops called in the strike to support Afghan troops on the ground, U.S. officials said after some initial confusion over who requested the air support. Of the 22 people who died, twelve were MSF staffers and ten were patients of the hospital, MSF officials said.
Now, the Switzerland-based International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) has asked the U.S. and Afghanistan to authorize a probe of the air strike, according to MSF. The U.S. is already conducting its own investigation and says an international probe is not needed. The Afghan government is also investigating.
Last week, President Barack Obama apologized to MSF’s international president. The Pentagon also authorized condolence payments to the families of the civilians killed and injured.
"The Department of Defense believes it is important to address the consequences of the tragic incident at the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan," Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement.
The Taliban announced its complete withdrawal from Kunduz on Oct. 13 after holding the city for fifteen days. It was the first time the Taliban controlled Kunduz during the last 14 years of war.
The full set of photos from inside the MSF hospital can be viewed at www.foreignpolicy.com. A warning that some of the photos are graphic.