The United Nations has accused Afghan and U.S.-led international forces of executing two patients and a 15-year-old boy in a joint raid on a hospital in central Afghanistan.
The operation was conducted on February 18 in the Tangi Sayedan area of Daimirdad district of Wardak province, said a U.N. statement issued in Kabul Tuesday.
“Afghan Ministry of Interior Special Forces and the international military …entered a government health clinic funded by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan,” the statement said. “After the manager of the facility was tied up and other medical personnel were forced with him into a room, two patients and a 15-year-old boy on visit were taken to a nearby shop and summarily executed,” it added.
U.S. military officials in Kabul said they were aware of the U.N. statement regarding last week’s incident.
“The Afghan Government is conducting an investigation. Our policy is not to discuss an ongoing investigation,” U.S. Army spokesman Col. Michael Lawhorn said in a brief statement sent to VOA.
The U.N. allegation was part of a statement emphasizing the need for all parties to the Afghan conflict to abstain from actions that may place healthcare facilities and people inside them at risk.
“Medical facilities, medical personnel, and those who are receiving treatment for disease or conflict-related injuries, must never be placed at risk, let alone subject to attack,” said Mark Bowden, the U.N.’s Humanitarian Coordinator.
The statement also criticized a Taliban suicide bombing on Monday in which seven civilians were killed and seven others were wounded. That attack happened in the Sia Gird district of northern Parwan province where a suicide attacker targeting Afghan security forces detonated an improvised explosive device close to the entrance of the district health clinic.
“The U.N. reiterates that intentional attacks on or in the vicinity of education facilities and hospitals, or on their personnel, committed as part of the ongoing conflict, constitute violations and abuses of international human rights law, breaches of international humanitarian law, and also violate the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” the statement warned.
In October, a U.S. military airstrike targeted a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in northern Afghanistan that killed 42 staff, patients and family members and wounded another 43. A U.S. military probe into the incident said U.S. forces misidentified the target that led to the attack on the hospital
The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has documented an increase in the number of conflict-related incidents deliberately targeting hospitals, clinics and health personnel,
In its annual report, released earlier this week, UNAMA said the conflict killed or wounded more than 11,000 Afghan civilians, including around 3,500 dead, in 2015, the highest causality figures since it began documenting civilian casualties in 2009.