The medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres says an air strike that hit a hospital in northern Afghanistan went on for at least half an hour after they alerted the Afghan and US forces of their location.
At least 12 MSF staff, four adult patients and three children died, MSF said on Twitter – raising an earlier estimate of the death toll.
The clinic is in Kunduz, a provincial capital that has been the scene of fierce clashes in recent days between Taliban and Afghan forces with NATO back-up.
On Saturday the Afghan government spoke about the incident.
“Ten to fifteen terrorists were hiding in the hospital last night and it came under attack,” said Sediq Seddiqi, Spokesperson for Afghan Interior Ministry. “Well, they are killed, all of the terrorists are killed, but we also lost doctors. We will do everything we can to make sure doctors are safe and can do their jobs.”
US forces in Afghanistan said they conducted an airstrike on Kunduz and that it “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.”
The spokesman added that the incident was under investigation.
Afghan forces backed by US airstrikes have been fighting to dislodge Taliban insurgents who overran Kunduz on Monday.
MSF said at least a hundred patients were in the hospital at the time of the strike.