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U.S. Commander Apologizes To Kunduz Victims For Hospital Attack

The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, visited on March 22 with Kunduz leaders.

The new commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has apologized to the people of Kunduz for the mistaken attack on a hospital in the city last year that killed 42 people.

U.S. Army General John Nicholson on March 22 visited with Kunduz leaders and relatives of those who died in the October 3 attack, accompanied by his wife, Norine, and Afghan acting Defense Minister Masoom Stanekzai.

A U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunship attacked the hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in what Nicholson called a "horrible tragedy."

More than a dozen U.S. military personnel were disciplined for mistakes that led to the attack. A U.S military report on the hospital attack is expected to be released within days.

Doctors Without Borders ceased operations in Kunduz afterward and has yet to return. The hospital was the only trauma clinic in northern Afghanistan.

Human rights groups criticized the Pentagon's response to the incident, saying the soldiers involved should have faced criminal charges.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP