UN chief calls for impartial probe of Afghan hospital bombing

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned an air strike on a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan on Saturday and called for an impartial investigation of the incident. An air strike, which may have been carried out by U.S.-led coalition forces, killed 19 staff and patients, including three children on Saturday, in a hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in the northern city of Kunduz, the aid group said. [ID:nL3N123032] "The Secretary-General strongly condemns the air strikes in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that resulted in the death and injury of medical workers and patients at a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital on Oct. 3," Ban's press office said in a statement. The statement added that "hospitals and medical personnel are explicitly protected under international humanitarian law." Ban called for a "thorough and impartial investigation into the attack in order to ensure accountability," it said. The U.S. military said it conducted an air strike "in the vicinity" of the hospital as it targeted Taliban insurgents who were directly firing on U.S. military personnel and was investigating the incident. (Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Alan Crosby)