The White House on Monday avoided describing the weekend attack on an Afghan hospital as a "war crime," citing ongoing investigations.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the bombing of the facility staffed with volunteers from Doctors Without Borders was a "profound tragedy."
On Saturday, The New York Times reported that insurgents launched an attack on a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The U.S. military responded with an airstrike and 22 people were killed, including 12 staff members and 10 patients, according to the Pentagon.
When asked if the incident was a “war crime," Earnest said, "Well, I wouldn't use a label like that because that is under investigation.
"The events in Afghanistan are a profound tragedy. We're talking about doctors who have left the safety and comfort of their homes, traveled to a remote region of the world that everybody knows is dangerous and they're risking their lives," Earnest continued. "That fact that some of those individuals lost their lives is a profound tragedy."
He said that the incident demands a "full investigation," and cited three investigations at the Department of Defense, NATO, as well as a joint investigation between U.S. and Afghan military personnel.
"The president has confidence in these three investigations," Earnest added.