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Bombed MSF Kunduz hospital was on US no-strike list before attack

DWB hospital was on no strike listThe crew of a U.S. warplane that attacked a medical charity's hospital in northern Afghanistan last month provided its operational headquarters with coordinates for the site — which was on a no-strike list — before the assault, which killed and wounded dozens of civilians, according to an internal Pentagon investigation.

Results of the investigation, first reported by The Associated Press, said the crew of the warplane, a U.S. AC-130 gunship, relied on a physical description of the compound provided by Afghan forces, which led the crew to attack the wrong target, a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (known by its French initials, MSF). It said the intended target, thought to be under Taliban control and being used in part as a prison, was 450 yards from the hospital.


The US just destroyed 280 ISIS oil trucks

ISIS oilThe US-led military coalition against ISIS has been rapidly increasing its pace of operations against militant targets in both Syria and Iraq.

On Monday, US planes destroyed an estimated 280 ISIS oil trucks near the border between Syria and Iraq, NBC reported, citing unnamed US officials. The strike was carried out by A-10 Warthogs and AC-130 Specter Gunships.

In a statement, the US-led coalition said that near the cities of Al-Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor, one attack destroyed 283 ISIS vehicles.


Judge denies new trial bid for ex-US guards in Iraq shooting

Contractors denied new trialA federal judge won't give a new trial to four former security contractors convicted in a mass shooting of Iraqi civilians in 2007.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth denied the request in an order dated Tuesday, saying the "weight of evidence is heavily against the men."

The guards — State Department contractors for the Blackwater Worldwide security firm — were convicted last year in federal court and given long prison sentences in April.


US troops didn't have eyes on Afghan hospital before attack

US troops did not eye Agfghan hospitalImmediately after the U.S. killed at least 30 people in a devastating airstrike on a charity hospital, Afghanistan's national security adviser told a European diplomat his country would take responsibility because "we are without doubt, 100 percent convinced the place was occupied by Taliban," according to notes of the meeting reviewed by The Associated Press.

More than a month later, no evidence has emerged to support that assertion. Eyewitnesses tell the AP they saw no gunmen at the hospital.

Instead, there are mounting indications the U.S. military relied heavily on Afghan allies who resented the internationally run Doctors Without Borders hospital, which treated Afghan security forces and Taliban alike but says it refused to admit armed men.


U.S. Plane Shot Victims Fleeing Doctors Without Borders Hospital: Charity

DWB attackA 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."


Pentagon blows $43 million on useless Afghan gas station, IG says

Afghan filling stationU.S. taxpayers footed the bill for a $42 million natural-gas filling station in Afghanistan, a boondoggle that should have cost $500,000 and has virtually no value to average Afghans, the government watchdog for reconstruction in Afghanistan announced Monday.

A Pentagon task force awarded a $3 million contract to build the station in Sheberghan, Afghanistan, but ended up spending $12 million in construction costs and $30 million in "overhead" between 2011 and 2014, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found. Meanwhile, similar gas station was built in neighboring Pakistan cost $500,000.


Troops who sought strike on Afghan hospital thought it was run by Taliban

DWB hospitalThe Army Green Berets who requested the Oct. 3 airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders trauma center in Afghanistan were aware it was a functioning hospital but believed it was under Taliban control, The Associated Press has learned.

The new information adds to a body of evidence that the internationally run medical facility site was familiar to the U.S. military, raising questions about whether the decision to attack it violated international law.


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