Taliban Claims 100-Bed Hospital Destroyed in Herat
A 100-bed hospital in the western Afghan city of Herat has been destroyed in a US attack, taking the civilian death toll to more than 1,000 in three weeks of bombing, Taliban officials said Monday.
Taliban ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef told a press conference in neighbouring Pakistan that more than 100 people, including doctors, nurses and patients, were "reported to have been martyred" in the attack.
"One thousand civilians have been killed in American raids," he said.
"We are telling the Bush administration and all those who are siding with them in this genocide that killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan is a terrorist act."
The Taliban's Bakhter news agency chief, Abdul Hanan Hemat, earlier told AFP that the hospital, the second biggest in Herat, was full of staff and patients when it was struck by a US bomb during an overnight raid on the city.
There were "very high" casualties but initial reports from Herat gave no indication of how many, Hemat said.
No independent confirmation of the bombing could be immediately obtained.
Hemat later claimed that another eight civilians had died when US jets bombed the village of Naw Abad some 10 kilometres (six miles) east of Herat.
Khairullah Khairkhana, governor of Herat province, said Sunday an empty 200-bed army hospital was destroyed in another attack on Herat city over the weekend.
He said the army 17th division's hospital had been evacuated just before it was destroyed -- Kabul, (AFP)
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