Obama apologizes to Doctors Without Borders, offers condolences over US attack in Afghanistan

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama steps to the podium before making an opening statement during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama has apologized to Doctors Without Borders for the American air attack that killed at least 22 people at a medical clinic in Afghanistan.

The White House says Obama called the organization’s president today and told her the U.S. will examine military procedures to determine whether changes could prevent such incidents. Spokesman Josh Earnest says: “When the United States makes a mistake, we own up to it.”

Obama’s apology comes four days after the facility in the northern city of Kunduz came under fire from what was later determined to be a U.S. aircraft. The attack outraged aid groups and has complicated U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.

Investigations by the U.S., NATO and the Afghan government are underway, but Doctors Without Borders has said more are needed and called a fact-finding mission to determine whether the attack violated the Geneva Conventions.

The White House says Obama restated his commitment to a thorough and transparent investigation by the Defense Department, but did not specifically address the group’s call for an independent probe.

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