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The bombing of a Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Afghanistan today is a deplorable loss of life that must be urgently and impartially investigated, Amnesty International said.

The MSF surgical hospital in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan was this morning hit by repeated airstrikes, killing at least nine staff members and an unknown number of patients. Many are still unaccounted for.

It is unclear who was responsible for the bombing, although the U.S. military has admitted that a U.S. airstrike “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility." MSF informed all parties earlier this week of the GPS coordinates of its hospital.

“This bombing of the MSF hospital in Kunduz marks a dark day for humanitarianism. It is sickening to think that doctors and other staff have had to pay with their lives while trying to save others. Hospitals are places of sanctity under international law governing conflict,” said Horia Mosadiq, Afghanistan Researcher at Amnesty International.

“Our deepest condolences go out to MSF staff who have bravely and selflessly continued their work as fighting has raged in Kunduz over the past week.”

“There must be a full, independent and transparent investigation into how and why this bombing took place. The U.S. military should not be jumping to conclusions without first fully getting to the bottom of how this happened.”

“We call on all parties to the conflict to respect and protect humanitarian personnel and facilities and take every precaution to protect civilians caught up in the conflict.”