Monday, September 7, 2009

Wire: Charity Claims 10th Mountain Soldiers Stormed Hospital in Afghanistan

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2009 -- Newswire services this morning reported that a Swedish charity accused soldiers from the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division Monday of storming through a hospital in central Afghanistan, breaking down doors and tying up staff in a search for militants. The U.S. military said it was investigating, according to an article published by The Associated Press.

On Monday, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan said American soldiers entered the charity's hospital without permission to look for insurgents in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul.

The U.S. troops came to the hospital looking for Taliban insurgents late at night last Wednesday. Fange said they kicked in doors, tied up four hospital employees and two family members of patients, and forced patients out of beds during their search, AP reported.

When they left two hours later, AP reported, troops ordered hospital staff to inform coalition forces if any wounded militants were admitted, and the military would decide if they could be treated, Fange said.

The charity said on its Web site that the actions were not only a violation of humanitarian principles but also went against an agreement between NATO forces and charities working in the area.

U.S. military spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker confirmed that the hospital was searched last week but had no other details. She said the military was looking into the incident.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: Charity: US troops stormed through Afghan hospital

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