The international charity Doctors Without Borders says at least nine local staffers and seven patients—including three children—were killed when its clinic came under "sustained bombing" Saturday in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, where Afghan officials say helicopter gunships had returned fire from Taliban sheltering in the facility. The group says the facility, which was treating more than 100 patients, came under attack at 2:10am. The charity did not say whether insurgents were present, and it was not immediately clear whether the staffers were killed by the Taliban, government or US forces. The group says another 30 people are missing after the incident, and it expects the number of dead and injured to rise.
US forces in Afghanistan said they conducted an airstrike on Kunduz at 2:15am which "may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility" and the incident is under investigation. A spokesman says it was the 12th US airstrike "in the Kunduz vicinity" since Tuesday. Doctors Without Borders says its trauma center "was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged." The charity has issued a statement saying it "wishes to clarify that all parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location" of the clinic, reports CNN. An Afghan military spokesman says security forces are still searching for militants in Kunduz, where the Taliban went on a killing spree after seizing the city. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)