YEMEN – A hospital supported by workers from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, has been bombarded with a projectile in northern Yemen, which killed at least four people and injured another 10 on Sunday, as MSF declared in a press release. Among the injured people there are staff from the organization and several patients.

The projectile hit the Shiara Hospital in Razeh district around 9:20, according to staff from MSF, who have been working with the international, independent, medical humanitarian organization since November 2015. Sources have not been able to determine yet who caused the attack, but reports suggest that some airplanes were seen flying close to the hospital when the projectile hit the installations.

File photo released by Doctors Without Borders shows the aftermath of an airstrike on a hospital in Saada province, Yemen. A hospital supported by the group was hit by a projectile on Sunday, killing at least four people. Credit: Associated Press/The Wall Street Journal

According to the MSF official website, the organization seeks to help people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion disasters caused by nature or humans.

MSF said in statement that at least another projectile was identified near the installations. It is thought that many other people could be injured, since they could be trapped amidst debris. Staff and patients have already left the place, they will be received in another MSF supported hospital in Saada. Raquel Ayora, Director of Operations, condemned the attack since the location of the MSF installations are well-known by Saudi authorities.  

“All warring parties, including the Saudi led coalition, are regularly informed of the GPS coordinates of the medical sites where MSF works and we are in constant dialogue with them to ensure that they understand the severity of the humanitarian consequences of the conflict and the need to respect the provision of medical services. There is no way that anyone with the capacity to carry out an airstrike would not have known that the Shiara Hospital was a functioning health facility providing critical services and supported by MSF.”

She added that medical facilities must be strictly respected, since bombing a hospital can be translated as a violation of the international humanitarian law. The Shiara Hospital supported by the MSF provided emergency, maternity and lifesaving activities as a consequence of the conflict that has affected thousands of people from the Razeh District, where 10 months of war and bombings have caused several damage.

It was reported that over the last three months there have been three grave attacks in MSF supported installations. On October 27, 200,000 people were stripped of their right to receive lifesaving medical care, after airstrikes deployed by the Saudi-led coalition destroyed the Haydan hospital.

On 3rd December nine people were wounded as a consequence of another Saudi-led airstrike, which impacted a clinic in southern Yemen. Doctors Without Borders stressed that attacks must end and parties need to permit the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

“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 health care for weeks. Once more it is civilians that bear the brunt of this war,” said Raquel Ayora in a statement published in the MSF official website.

The International Committee of the Red Cross published in a statement that international humanitarian law was accorded in order to ensure the safety of people who are not participating in war or armed conflict. That being said, Doctors Without Borders declared on Twitter that the staff battles daily to guarantee the respect of health facilities.

Source: The New York Times