Gen. Campbell: Afghan Hospital Attack Was US’ Fault

The top U.S. general in Afghanistan confirmed that an American gunship carried out the aerial assault that destroyed a hospital during fighting in the northern city of Kunduz, killing 22 people, including 12 aid workers, and injuring dozens more patients and staff.

It was the first direct U.S. acknowledgment of responsibility for what General John Campbell called “a very serious and tragic” event. Afghan security forces under attack made the request for an airstrike to a U.S. special forces team providing training and assistance, Campbell said at a Pentagon briefing Monday, disputing earlier reports that American forces initiated the call for help.

“The United States military takes extraordinary steps to avoid harm to civilians,” said Campbell, who commands U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, but the Taliban chose to “fight from within a heavily urbanized area,” purposely “placing civilians in harm’s way.”