Casualties as airstrikes hit north Yemen hospital

Casualties as airstrikes hit north Yemen hospital
MSF says that the Abs hospital in the province of Hajja was targeted by airstrikes on Monday, killing at least 11 people, including a Yemeni MSF staff member.
2 min read
15 August, 2016
The Arab coalition began its campaign of airstrikes on March 26, 2015 [Getty]

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes hit a hospital in a rebel-held province of northwestern Yemen on Monday, killing at least 11 people and wounding 19 others, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said.

MSF "confirms that Abs hospital (in Hajja province) was targeted by airstrikes today at 15:45 Yemen time (1245 GMT)", the Paris-based relief agency tweeted.

"The blast immediately killed nine people, including a MSF staff member, and two more patients died while being transferred to Al Jamhouri hospital," said a statement MSF.

"This is the fourth attack against an MSF facility in less than 12 months. Once again, today we witness the tragic consequences of the bombing of a hospital," said MSF's Teresa Sancristóval.
"Once again, a fully functional hospital full of patients and MSF national and international staff members, was bombed in a war that has shown no respect for medical facilities or patients," she added.

Residents in Abs also said that coalition jets, which have been striking rebel military targets in the town for days, hit the hospital and caused casualties.

"The bombardment of this hospital is a deplorable act that has cost civilian lives, including medical staff who are dedicated to helping sick and injured people under some of the most challenging conditions," said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

"Deliberately targeting medical facilities is a serious violation of international humanitarian law which would amount to a war crime. Today’s airstrike appears to be the latest in a string of unlawful attacks targeting hospitals highlighting an alarming pattern of disregard for civilian life,” Mughrabi added. 

The strikes come less than 48 hours after MSF accused the coalition of killing 10 children in airstrikes on a Quranic school in Saada, another rebel-held province in Yemen's north.

The coalition denied targeting a school, instead saying it bombed a camp at which the Houthi rebels train underage soldiers.

The Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, began its campaign of airstrikes against the rebels and their allies on March 26, 2015.

Abs is adjacent to the town of Harad, on the border with Saudi Arabia, and from where rebels have repeatedly shelled areas on the kingdom's side of the frontier, causing both civilian and military deaths.

Harad itself is seeing fierce fighting and is frequently a target of heavy coalition airstrikes.