US plane shot victims fleeing Doctors without Borders hospital: Charity

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Aftermath of U.S. Airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan


KABUL, Afghanistan — A U.S. warplane shot people trying to flee a burning hospital destroyed in airstrikes last month, according to the charity that ran the facility.

"Thirty of our patients and medical staff died [in the bombing]," Doctors Without Borders General Director Christopher Stokes said during a speech in Kabul unveiling a report on the incident. "Some of them lost their limbs and were decapitated in the explosions. Others were shot by the circling gunship while fleeing the burning building."

Photos from the aftermath of the airstrike:

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U.S. airstrike on Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan
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US plane shot victims fleeing Doctors without Borders hospital: Charity
FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2015, file photo, an employee of Doctors Without Borders stands inside the charred remains of their hospital after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Russian airstrikes have reportedly hit at least a half dozen medical facilities in Syria, according to activists. In Yemen, an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders. Still, apart from rights groups condemnations, thereÂs been little international outcry, in contrast to a U.S. strike on a hospital in Afghanistan that killed 30 people. (Najim Rahim via AP, File)
The Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen in flames, after explosions in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. Doctors Without Borders announced that the death toll from the bombing of the group's Kunduz hospital compound has risen to at least 16, including 3 children and that tens are missing after the explosions that may have been caused by a U.S. airstrike. In a statement, the international charity said the "sustained bombing" took place at 2:10 a.m. (21:40 GMT). Afghan forces backed by U.S. airstrikes have been fighting to dislodge Taliban insurgents who overran Kunduz on Monday. (Médecins Sans Frontières via AP)
The Doctors Without Borders trauma center is seen in flames, after an explosion near their hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz . Doctors Without Borders announced that the death toll from the bombing of the group's Kunduz hospital compound has risen to at least 16, including 3 children and that tens are missing after the explosions that may have been caused by a U.S. airstrike. In a statement, the international charity said the "sustained bombing" took place at 2:10 a.m. (2140 GMT). Afghan forces backed by U.S. airstrikes have been fighting to dislodge Taliban insurgents who overran Kunduz on Monday. (Médecins Sans Frontières via AP)
The Doctors Without Borders trauma center is seen in flames, after an explosion near their hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz . Doctors Without Borders announced that the death toll from the bombing of the group's Kunduz hospital compound has risen to at least 16, including 3 children and that tens are missing after the explosions that may have been caused by a U.S. airstrike. In a statement, the international charity said the "sustained bombing" took place at 2:10 a.m. (2140 GMT). Afghan forces backed by U.S. airstrikes have been fighting to dislodge Taliban insurgents who overran Kunduz on Monday. (Médecins Sans Frontières via AP)
In this Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 photo, the charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen after being hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Christopher Stokes, general director of Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French abbreviation MSF, whose hospital in northern Afghanistan was destroyed in a U.S. airstrike, says the Âextensive, quite precise destruction of the bombing raid casts doubt on American military assertions that it was a mistake. (Najim Rahim via AP)
In this Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 photo, the charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen after being hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The head of Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French abbreviation MSF whose hospital in northern Afghanistan was destroyed in a U.S. airstrike says the Âextensive, quite precise destruction of the bombing raid casts doubt on American military assertions that it was a mistake. (Najim Rahim via AP)
Afghan employees of a Doctors Without Borders hospital move debris of its damaged gate in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Taliban fighters took control of the key northern city late last month, leading to a protracted battle with Afghan forces supported by U.S. airstrikes. During the fighting, a U.S. air attack hit the hospital, killing at least 12 Doctors Without Borders staff and 10 patients. (AP Photo/Najim Rahim)
FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2015 file photo, the charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The Army Green Berets who called in the deadly strike on the Doctors without Borders trauma center in Afghanistan were aware it was a functioning hospital but believed it was under Taliban control, raising questions about whether the air strike violated international law.. (Najim Rahim via AP)
In this Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015 photo, the charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen after being hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The attack, which killed a number of hospital staff and patients, was intended to back up Afghan forces fighting to dislodge Taliban insurgents who overran the strategic city earlier in the month. (Najim Rahim via AP)
In this Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 photo, an employee of the Doctors Without Borders walks inside the charred remains of their hospital after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Christopher Stokes, general director of Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French abbreviation MSF, whose hospital in northern Afghanistan was destroyed in a U.S. airstrike, says the Âextensive, quite precise destruction of the bombing raid casts doubt on American military assertions that it was a mistake. (Najim Rahim via AP)
In this Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 photo, Christopher Stokes, the general director of the medical charity, Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French abbreviation MSF, stands near the charred remains of the organizations' hospital, after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Stokes says the Âextensive, quite precise destruction of the bombing raid casts doubt on American military assertions that it was a mistake. (Najim Rahim via AP)
In this Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 photo, the charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen after being hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The head of Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French abbreviation MSF, whose hospital in northern Afghanistan was destroyed in a U.S. airstrike says the extensive, quite precise destruction of the bombing raid casts doubt on American military assertions that it was a mistake. (Najim Rahim via AP)
FILE -In this Oct. 14, 2015 file photo, the charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen after being hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The Army Green Berets who called in the deadly strike on the Doctors without Borders trauma center in Afghanistan were aware it was a functioning hospital but believed it was under Taliban control, raising questions about whether the air strike violated international law. (Najim Rahim via AP)
FILE -- In this Oct. 15, 2015 file photo, Christopher Stokes, the general director of medical charity Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French abbreviation MSF, stands at the gate of the organization's hospital, after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Russian airstrikes have reportedly hit at least a half dozen medical facilities in Syria, according to activists. In Yemen, an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders. Still, apart from rights groups condemnations, theres been little international outcry, in contrast to a U.S. strike on a hospital in Afghanistan that killed 30 people. (Najim Rahim via AP, File)
Injured Doctors Without Borders staff are seen after an explosion near their hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. Doctors Without Borders announced that the death toll from the bombing of the group's Kunduz hospital compound has risen to at least 16, including 3 children and that tens are missing after the explosions that may have been caused by a U.S. airstrike. In a statement, the international charity said the "sustained bombing" took place at 2:10 a.m. (2140 GMT). Afghan forces backed by U.S. airstrikes have been fighting to dislodge Taliban insurgents who overran Kunduz on Monday. (Médecins Sans Frontières via AP)
U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Resolute Support Mission Commander Gen. John Campbell pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Situation in Afghanistan. U.S. forces attacked a hospital in northern Afghanistan last weekend, killing at least 22 people, despite "rigorous" U.S. military procedures designed to avoid such mistakes, the top commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The burnt Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen after an explosion in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. Doctors Without Borders announced that the death toll from the bombing of the group's Kunduz hospital compound has risen to at least 16, including 3 children and that tens are missing after the explosions that may have been caused by a U.S. airstrike. In a statement, the international charity said the "sustained bombing" took place at 2:10 a.m. (21:40 GMT). Afghan forces backed by U.S. airstrikes have been fighting to dislodge Taliban insurgents who overran Kunduz on Monday. (Médecins Sans Frontières via AP)
Afghan security forces take a wounded civilian man to the hospital after Taliban fighter's attack, in Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. Three staff from Doctors Without Borders were killed and 30 were missing after an explosion near their hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz that may have been caused by a U.S. airstrike. (AP Photo/Dehsabzi)
U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Resolute Support Mission Commander Gen. John Campbell testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Situation in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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The hospital in Kunduz was bombed on Oct. 3 as Afghan government forces fought to regain control of the city from Taliban insurgents.

After the U.S. gave shifting explanations for the incident — which Doctors Without Borders has called a war crime — President Barack Obama apologized to the charity. The U.S. and Afghan governments have launched three separate investigations but the charity, which is also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), is calling for an international inquiry.

Thursday's report added: "Patients burned in their beds, medical staff were decapitated and lost limbs, and others were shot by the circling AC-130 gunship while fleeing the burning building."

It also detailed operations in the hospital in the days leading up to the bombing, and said staff had noticed that more Taliban fighters were arriving for treatment.

"In the week starting September 28, [the majority of the wounded fighters] shifted to primarily wounded Taliban combatants," according to the report.

GALLERY: Inside Afghanistan's Bombed Hospital

On Oct. 1, the group "received a question from a U.S. government official in Washington, D.C., asking whether the hospital or any other of MSF's locations had a large number of Taliban 'holed up'," the report said. "MSF also expressed that we were very clear with both sides to the conflict about the need to respect medical structures as a condition to our ability to continue working."

The charity does not ask which armed group patients belong to as a matter of policy. Fighters are also prohibited from bringing weapons into the hospital, according to MSF.

The report, which gave a detailed log of its communication with military officials during the attack, also detailed the injuries suffered by staff and patients when the hospital came under attack as it was treating casualties.

It highlighted that the left arm of an MSF nurse was "hanging from a small piece of tissue" after he suffered a "traumatic amputation" in one of the blasts.

When asked to comment on MSF's account, a senior defense official told NBC News:

"The Defense Department and U.S. military are conducting two separate investigations into the October third airstrike in Kunduz and are in active discussions with representatives from Doctors Without Borders to determine the facts. While the incident remains under investigation we are unable to publicly release any findings."

RELATED: See clashes against Taliban militants in Kunduz

22 PHOTOS
Clashes against Taliban militants in Kunduz
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US plane shot victims fleeing Doctors without Borders hospital: Charity
Afghan security personnel walk around a burnt out vehicle near Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. An Afghan official says government forces have retaken the strategic northern city of Kunduz, which was seized by the Taliban on Monday. The spokesman says it could take some days to "clear the city," but that Taliban forces have retreated. He says about 200 Taliban fighters have been killed. (AP Photo)
A burnt-out police pick-up truck stands in the street after Afghan security forces retook control of Kunduz city from the Taliban militants in northeastern Kunduz province, on October 1, 2015. Afghan forces retook control of the strategic northern city of Kunduz on October 1 after a three-day Taliban occupation that dealt a stinging blow to the country's NATO-trained military. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A government building is pictured after Taliban fighters burnt it down, in Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. An Afghan official says government forces have retaken the strategic northern city of Kunduz, which was seized by the Taliban on Monday. The spokesman says it could take some days to "clear the city," but that Taliban forces have retreated. He says about 200 Taliban fighters have been killed. (AP Photo)
In this picture taken on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015 Afghanistan's security forces patrol of Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. The U.S. military says it has conducted two more airstrikes overnight on Taliban positions around a northern Afghan city seized by the insurgents this week. (Najim Rahim via AP)
Afghan special forces arrive at the airport as they launch a counteroffensive to retake the city from Taliban insurgents, in Kunduz on Septmber 29, 2015. The Afghan army on September 29 launched a counter-offensive to retake Kunduz from the Taliban, a day after insurgents overran the strategic northern city. AFP PHOTO / Nasir Waqif (Photo credit should read NASIR WAQIF/AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke rises from an unknown point in Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. An Afghan official says government forces have retaken the strategic northern city of Kunduz, which was seized by the Taliban on Monday. The spokesman says it could take some days to "clear the city," but that Taliban forces have retreated. He says about 200 Taliban fighters have been killed. (AP Photo)
Afghan National Army soldiers arrive to start an operation soon, outside of Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 30. The U.S. military says it has conducted two more airstrikes overnight on Taliban positions around a northern Afghan city seized by the insurgents this week. (Najim Rahim via AP)
An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier carries a colleague who was wounded during an offensive with Taliban insurgents in Kunduz on September 30, 2015. NATO said September 30 its special forces were supporting Afghan troops in Kunduz after Taliban insurgents seized the city, fought off a counter-attack and advanced on the airport to shore up their biggest victory in 14 years. Heavy fighting was underway near the northern city's airport where government forces retreated, highlighting the potent challenge the militants pose after their lightning capture of Kunduz. AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
This photograph taken on September 29, 2015 shows Afghan security personnel keeping watch as heavy fighting erupted near the airport on the outskirts of Kunduz. Taliban insurgents who seized the Afghan city of Kunduz have defied a counter-offensive and advanced on the airport where government forces retreated after the fall of the strategic northern gateway. Heavy fighting erupted near the airport on the city's outskirts as the insurgents closed in late on September 29, highlighting the potent challenge the militants represent after their lightning capture of Kunduz the previous day. AFP PHOTO / Nasir Waqif (Photo credit should read NASIR WAQIF/AFP/Getty Images)
A Taliban fighter sits on his motorcycle adorned with a Taliban flag in a street in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. The U.S. military carried out an airstrike on Tuesday on the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, which was captured by the Taliban the previous day in a major setback to the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. (AP Photo)
Taliban fighters search passengers and civilian vehicles in a check point in Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. Taliban gunmen fanned out in full force Tuesday across a key Afghan city they captured the day before, as the U.S. military carried out an airstrike on Kunduz and President Ashraf Ghani vowed to take the northern city back from the insurgents, urging his nation to trust Afghan troops to do the job. (AP Photo)
A Taliban supporter removes leaders' pictures in the main square of Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. The U.S. military carried out an airstrike on Tuesday on the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, which was captured by the Taliban the previous day in a major setback to the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. (AP Photo)
Taliban fighters drive a vehicle belonging to the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. The U.S. military carried out an airstrike on Tuesday on the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, which was captured by the Taliban the previous day in a major setback to the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. (AP Photo)
Taliban prisoners walk on a street after their comrades released them from the main jail in Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. The Taliban captured the northern Afghan city of Kunduz in a massive assault Monday involving hundreds of fighters, and now control a major urban area for the first time since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. (AP Photo/Hekmat Aimaq)
Map shows city of Kunduz in Afghanistan and locates government buildings and U.N. facilities; 3c x 5 inches; 146 mm x 127 mm;
Taliban fighters pose for a photo next to a UN vehicle which they are using, in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. The U.S. military carried out an airstrike on Tuesday on the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, which was captured by the Taliban the previous day in a major setback to the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. (AP Photo)
Taliban fighters and young men take over an army truck on a street in Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. The Taliban captured the northern Afghan city of Kunduz in a massive assault Monday involving hundreds of fighters, and now control a major urban area for the first time since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. (AP Photo/Hekmat Aimaq)
Taliban fighters walk with their weapons on a street in Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. The Taliban captured the northern Afghan city of Kunduz in a massive assault Monday involving hundreds of fighters, and now control a major urban area for the first time since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. (AP Photo/Hekmat Aimaq)
A Taliban fighter stands guard on a vehicle in Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. The U.S. military carried out an airstrike on Tuesday on the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, which was captured by the Taliban the previous day in a major setback to the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. (AP Photo)
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, left, points Afghanistan's acting defense minister Masoom Stanikzai, sitting, during a press conference at presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. Taliban gunmen fanned out in full force Tuesday across a key Afghan city they captured the day before, as the U.S. military carried out an airstrike on Kunduz and President Ashraf Ghani vowed to take the northern city back from the insurgents, urging his nation to trust Afghan troops to do the job. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani speaks during a press conference at presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. Taliban gunmen fanned out in full force Tuesday across a key Afghan city they captured the day before, as the U.S. military carried out an airstrike on Kunduz and President Ashraf Ghani vowed to take the northern city back from the insurgents, urging his nation to trust Afghan troops to do the job. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
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