Attack on the Kunduz trauma center
The attack occurred between 2:08 a.m. and 3:15 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3. Afghan special forces were on the ground clearing Taliban insurgents from areas near the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Trauma Center.
According to Army Gen. John Campbell, Afghan troops reported they were under fire and requested air support. An AC-130U Gunship was circling overhead and struck the MSF facility. Hospital officials said they were assaulted from the air for more than an hour.
AN ANTI-AIRCRAFT WEAPON POINTING DOWN - THE BOFORS L/70
The Bofors L/70 gun was originally designed as an anti-aircraft weapon in the 1930s. After World War II, with the advent of jet fighters, the L/70 model was introduced for engaging high-speed aircraft flying at low altitude. It was first mounted in an AC-130 during the Vietnam War.
ARTILLERY FROM THE SKY - THE M102 HOWITZER
First introduced during the Vietnam War, the M102 was a light-towed 105mm howitzer used in light infantry operations. It has been used on the AC-130 since the latter stages of the Vietnam War. The gunship usually carries 96 rounds of ammunition for the gun.
Taliban within the hospital?
While individuals familiar with the incident say that U.S. forces identified fighters firing from within the compound, MSF has strongly denied there were active Taliban on hospital grounds.
THE DAMAGE TO THE TRAUMA CENTER
The entire main hospital building was destroyed. “We tried to take a look into one of the burning buildings. I cannot describe what was inside. There are no words for how terrible it was. In the intensive care unit, six patients were burning in their beds,” said nurse Lajos Zoltan Jecs on his blog on the MSF Web site.
“These are people who had been working hard for months, nonstop for the past week,” Jecs said. “They had not gone home, they had not seen their families, they had just been working in the hospital to help people ... and now they are dead. These people are friends, close friends. I have no words to express this. It is unspeakable.”