MSF hospital attack: Death toll rises to 9

US airstrikes killed 9 Doctors Without Borders staff workers in the Afghan city of Kunduz.

Fires burn in part of the MSF hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz after it was hit by an air strike. Picture: AFP/MSF.

JOHANNESBURG - The number of Doctors Without Borders staff killed in the bombing of a hospital in Kunduz city, Afghanistan, has risen to nine, the aid organisation said.

Earlier today it was reported that airstrikes killed three staff members after US forces conducted airstrikes in the area.

At least 37 people were critically injured, including 19 of the medical aid organisation's staff.

Sources say 30 people are still unaccounted for.

US forces carried out a nearby strike early Saturday "against individuals threatening the force," army spokesman Col. Brian Tribus said.

The strike "may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility," he added in a statement.

Fighting has raged around the Afghan provincial capital this week, as government forces backed by American air power seek to drive out Taliban militants who seized the city in the biggest victory of their nearly 14-year insurgency.

Bart Janssens, operations director for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) added, "We do not yet have the final casualty figures, but our medical teams are providing first aid and treating the injured patients and MSF personnel."

A wall of the hospital's main building collapsed, scattering fragments of glass and wooden door frames, while three rooms were on fire, said Saad Mukhtar, director of public health in Kunduz.

"Thick black smoke could be seen rising from some of the rooms. The fighting is still going on, so we had to leave," Mukhtar said after a visit to the hospital.

According to CNN, when the aerial attack occurred, 105 patients and their caretakers were in the hospital.

More than 80 MSF international and national staff was present.