MSF Updates Death Toll from Kunduz Hospital Attacks to 42

Afghanistan 2015 © Andrew Quilty/Oculi

After two months of in-depth investigation following the October 3 U.S. airstrikes that destroyed the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan, it is with great sadness that MSF today announces that the death toll has been confirmed to be at least 42 people.

The revised figures include the 14 MSF staff members who were killed, as well as 24 patients and four caretakers (relatives who provided additional nursing care for the patients in the hospital) now confirmed dead.

Previously MSF had reported an approximate death toll of at least 30 people, but after methodical review of MSF records and family claims, as well as patient, staff, and family testimonies, the organization confirms today the death toll has risen to 42

Determining the death toll has been extremely difficult given the chaos that followed the attack. Extensive efforts were undertaken to identify the dead. Part of the medical archives had been destroyed in the attack, however, along with patient files and admission sheets, as they were located in the main hospital building that burned down that night. Furthermore, additional human remains were discovered in the hospital rubble over the past two months.

The detailed investigations into the death toll included interviews with MSF staff, patients and family members, as well as cross-checking with other hospitals in Afghanistan where MSF patients were referred post-attack.

For more information on the Kunduz attack:

The remains of a bed frame in a room on eastern wing of the main Outpatient Department building.
Afghanistan 2015 © Andrew Quilty/Oculi