Friday 25 May 2018

Four killed as missile hits MSF hospital in Yemen

Protesters gather outside the UN office in the Yemeni capital Sanaa to plead for an end to the Saudi bombings. Photo: Getty
Protesters gather outside the UN office in the Yemeni capital Sanaa to plead for an end to the Saudi bombings. Photo: Getty

Noah Browning

A missile struck a clinic supported by international medical group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in north Yemen, killing four people in the latest attacks on the voluntary medics.

MSF said it was not clear who was behind the attack that also wounded 10 other people in Shiara Hospital in the Razeh district, where the group has worked since November last year.

It added that three of the wounded were staff members and two were in critical condition.

"This is the third severe incident in the last three months. Our teams struggle on a daily basis to ensure the respect of health facilities," MSF said.

Regional MSF operations chief Raquel Ayora said all warring parties are regularly informed of the GPS coordinates of the medical sites where the group works, and that MSF was in constant dialogue with them.

"There is no way that anyone with the capacity to carry out an air strike or launch a rocket would not have known that the Shiara Hospital was a functioning health facility providing critical services and supported by MSF," she said.

MSF said Saudi-led air strikes hit another of its health facilities elsewhere in the province in October last year, wrecking the building and lightly wounding two staff members.

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been fighting the Iran-allied Houthi group in Yemen, a campaign Riyadh says is aimed at repelling what it sees as creeping Iranian influence in the Arabian Peninsula region.

Nearly 6,000 people have been killed since the Saudi coalition entered Yemen's conflict in March, almost half of them civilians. The war has exacerbated hunger and disease in Yemen, the region's poorest country.

In a separate incident, an intelligence colonel was killed in a drive-by shooting in Yemen's southern port city of Aden yesterday, a security official source said, in an attack claimed by Isil militants.

It was the latest in a series of assassination and bombings by militants belonging to the Yemen branch of the ultra-violent group which have undermined security in Aden.

Irish Independent

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