Rights groups slam Houthi attack on Taiz children's hospital

Rights groups slam Houthi attack on Taiz children's hospital
Doctors Without Borders [MSF] and local rights organisations condemned the recent shelling of a children's hospital by Houthi rebels in Taiz.
3 min read
25 October, 2020
Houthis regularly attack civilian infrastructures [File Photo: Getty]
Yemen's Houthis targeted a children’s hospital in Taiz, rights groups said on Sunday.

The rebels bombed the Al Amal Hospital for Oncology facility, which is located in a densely populated residential neighbourhood in the city, according to the Human Rights Information and Rehabilitation Centre.

The statement condemned the Houthi bombing, which injured two hospital staff and damaged the building. Dozens of patients and visitors were inside the facility at the time of the attack.

"At least two artillery shells hit the site intentionally and it is clear the hospital was the target of the Houthi bombing," the statement said.

"It is a clear crime to target a well-known hospital and a clear landmark of the city. It is the only health institution available specialised in treating tumours, especially in children," it added, calling for immediate accountability.

In another statement by Doctors Without Borders, condemned the attack, which took place across the road from its own facility.

"Today in Taiz City, the Al Amal Clinic that is located adjacent to the MSF-supported Yemeni Swedish Hospital, was hit by heavy weapons which resulted in injuring a hospital staff member," MSF Taiz city project coordinator, Craig Kenzie said in a statement.

"Patients were relocated to lower and more blast-protected areas of the health facilities, non-essential staff were sent away from the hospital for their safety, and several patients left due to fear of further attacks," the statement said.

"Earlier in the day, we also had shelling near to the Al Jumhouri hospital where we support the maternity department.

"All parties of the conflict have a responsibility under International Humanitarian Law to ensure civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, are respected and protected," the statement said. 

Taiz, Yemen's third largest city, is situated between the north and south of the country and is split between government and rebel control.

Houthi fighters regularly target civilians, with sniper killings being reported almost every few weeks.

The case of a nine-year-old girl shot by Houthi snipers while fetching water went viral in August.

An aerial image of the little girl lying on the ground as her brother attempted to pull her to safety was widely shared across social media as a grim reminder of the violence perpetrated by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

In June a mother, her daughter and her young son were shot and killed by gunmen while travelling on a bus to shop for a wedding dress.

In April, at least five women and a child were killed after Houthi rebels launched an attack on a prison in Taiz.

The child had reportedly been visiting the prison at the time of the attack.

Read also: Yemenis rally around 9-year-old girl shot in the head by Houthi sniper

Yemen's war between Houthi rebels and pro-government troops escalated in March 2015, when a Saudi-led military coalition intervened against the rebels who control large parts of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

More than 100,000 have been killed, an estimated four million displaced and 80 percent of the country's 29 million people are dependent on aid for survival.

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