A briefing in Kabul provided the latest US explanation but left some questions unanswered about an attack in which an internationally run hospital was subjected to barrages of heavy fire from an AC-130 gunship.

Gen John Campbell, the top US commander in Afghanistan, said the airstrike was supposed to have been directed at a nearby facility being used as a Taliban command center but the warplane fired at the wrong building.

After the plane's targeting sensors malfunctioned, he said, the crew relied on a physical description to home in on the target. But no Americans on the ground were in position to see the hospital.

A summary of one of the investigations, obtained by The Associated Press, said that witnesses differed in their versions of how and why the strike was authorized.

Investigators found that the aircrew continued the attack despite observing no hostile activity from the hospital, operated by the international group Doctors Without Borders.

It found no evidence that armed Taliban were operating from there.

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