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After a U.S. airstrike on a Kunduz hospital, condolence payments in Afghanistan are under scrutiny

INSIDE THE Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, Abdul Ghadir, 43, surveys the overturned bed frames, blackened by flames, and the caved-in ceiling and walls dark with soot. His feet crunch across a floor covered in glass shards and ash. “This,” he says, “is the grave of my daughter.”

Amina, Ghadir’s 12-year-old girl, was killed in the early hours of October 3 last year, six days after the Taliban had captured Kunduz. In support of Afghan security forces trying to take back the city, a U.S. military AC-130 gunship repeatedly fired on the hospital. In total, 42 patients, staff and caregivers were killed, and dozens more wounded, in the hourlong attack. The U.S. has since admitted that firing on the hospital was an error.

Earlier this year, in a crowded room at the Kunduz military base, U.S. military officials apologized to some of the victims and handed out condolence payments. For Amina’s death, Ghadir received around $6,000. Those who were wounded received around $3,000.

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