US troops accused of hospital rampage

Original source: morningstaronline.co.uk

A Swedish charity accused US troops on Monday of going on the rampage in a central Afghanistan hospital last week.

During their operations, patients were forced from their beds, staff tied up and doors smashed down in a search for resistance fighters.

Relatives visiting patients were also maltreated.

The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) charged that the US Army's 10th Mountain Division violated the neutrality of medical facilities when it entered the charity's hospital in Wardak province without permission.

SCA director Anders Fange said that the US troops arrived at the hospital in the middle of the night last Wednesday.

As they left two hours later, the troops ordered hospital staff to inform occupation forces if any wounded militants were admitted.

The military would decide if they could be treated, Mr Fange alleged.

Describing the US actions as "unacceptable," he said that staff had refused to comply because carrying out the order would have "put our staff at risk and made the hospital a target."

The SCA claimed the troops' actions were not only a violation of humanitarian principles but also went against an agreement between NATO forces and charities working in the area.

It demanded guarantees that the assaults would not be repeated and that this would be made clear to commanders in the field.

The Pentagon said that it was investigating the incident.

 

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