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Iran Press TV

Four killed as Saudi jets bomb MSF health facility in northern Yemen: Reports

Iran Press TV

Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:3PM

New Saudi airstrikes have struck a health center operated by charity health organization Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French abbreviation MSF, in northern Yemen, killing at least four people and wounding several others, according to local reports.

The medical facility, located in the Razeh district of Sa'ada Province, was bombed on Sunday, Yemeni media report said.

The reports said that at least 15 others were also injured in the deadly airstrikes, which sent shockwaves through the neighborhood.

MSF slams attack

The Paris-based medical humanitarian organization strongly denounced the strike, describing it as part of a 'worrying pattern' of attacks on medical facilities.

'We strongly condemn this incident that confirms a worrying pattern of attacks to essential medical services and express our strongest outrage as this will leave a very fragile population without healthcare for weeks,' Raquel Ayora, MSF director of operations, said on Sunday.

She noted that the organization constantly shares the coordinates of its facilities with those warring sides fighting in the impoverished Arab nation.

'All warring parties are regularly informed of the GPS coordinates of the medical sites where MSF works,' said Ayora, adding, 'There is no way that anyone with the capacity to carry out an air strike or launch a rocket would not have known' the functioning health facility. Ayora concluded by saying that civilians were bearing the brunt of the ongoing war on Yemen. 'Once more it is civilians that bear the brunt of this war.'

This is not the first time that Saudi fighter jets target an MSF-run hospital in Yemen.

In early December 2015, Saudi warplanes bombed an MSF clinic in the southwestern province of Ta'izz, killing at least three people and inflicting heavy damage on the medical center. Also in late October last year, Saudi missile strikes hit another MSF clinic in Yemen's Sa'ada Province, leaving several people injured.

The medical charity group has denounced the attacks as a "violation of international law." MSF also described the previous air raids targeting its centers as deliberate; it said the assaults were conducted even as the Saudi military had been notified of the coordinates of the facility.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in a report on Thursday voiced concerns about attacks targeting hospitals in Yemen.

In a separate incident on Sunday, Saudi warplanes bombed a market in the Razeh district of Sa'ada Province, killing at least eight people and injuring some others.

Saudi Arabia has started military strikes against Yemen since March 2015, without a UN mandate, in a supposed bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, an ally of Riyadh.

The Saudi war has reportedly killed more than 7,500 people and injured over 14,000 others.

The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the country's facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools and factories. The Saudi military has also blocked the flow of relief aid into Yemen, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state.

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