US Troops Stormed Afghan Hospital: Charity

Civilian deaths, intrusive searches prompt rising resentment
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 7, 2009 8:32 AM CDT
Anders Fange, country director of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009.   (AP Photo/Farzana Wahidy)
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(Newser) – A Swedish charity today accused American troops of storming through a hospital in central Afghanistan, breaking down doors and tying up staff in a search for militants. Soldiers were said to have forced their way into the charity's hospital without permission, violating the neutrality of a medical facility. The allegation comes close on the heels of a NATO  airstrike in the country's north last week that may have killed as many as 70 civilians around two Taliban-hijacked fuel tankers.

The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan said the raid went against an agreement between NATO forces and charities working in the area, as well as "internationally recognized rules and principles." Troops forced patients out of beds during their search, and  barged into women's wards, a serious insult to the local Pashtun culture that could turn the community against international troops.