Bombs wrecked military hospital, says UN

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The Independent Online

The United Nations said today that a US bomb struck a military hospital in the western Afghan city of Herat.

The Taliban regime reported the bombing on Monday - saying that a US and British airstrike had hit a hospital, killing more than 100 patients and medical workers. Britain denied its planes took part in any raid against Herat, and the Pentagon said it had no specific information about the purported incident.

A UN spokeswoman Stephanie Bunker cited independent UN sources within Afghanistan as reporting that a bomb hit a military hospital within a military compound on Harat's eastern edge.

UN officials did not know whether the hospital was being used at the time, she said, or whether any civilians or miltiary personnel had been hurt.

The Pentagon is investigating the possibility that an American bomb may have caused unintended civilian casualties at a hospital or senior citizens' home near where the bomb landed, a US defence official said.

The official, who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity, said there was no evidence that the bomb struck the civilian facility but that it may have sustained collateral damage from the nearby explosion.

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