Dubai: A missile strike on a Doctors Without Borders clinic in Yemen killed at least four people today, the group said, condemning what it called a “worrying pattern” of such attacks.
The Paris-based medical humanitarian organisation said three of its staff members were among 10 people wounded in the raid, the third of its kind in four months in the war-ravaged country.
Two other members of staff were in “critical condition”, the group known by its French acronym MSF said in a statement.
“The numbers of casualties could rise as there could still be people trapped in the rubble,” it said, adding the missile hit the medical facility in the Razeh district of Saada province.
But all staff and patients had been evacuated, with the patients being transferred to another MSF-supported hospital in Saada, it said.
MSF could not specify whether the medical facility was hit in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition or by a rocket fired from the ground.
Its director of operations, Raquel Ayora, denounced the strike and repeated that the organisation constantly shares the coordinates of its facilities with those fighting in Yemen.
“All warring parties are regularly informed of the GPS coordinates of the medical sites where MSF works,” said Ayora.
“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 clinic was a functioning health facility supported by MSF, Ayora said.
“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,” said Ayora.
“Once more it is civilians that bear the brunt of this war,” she added.
Saada is the heartland of the Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels that the coalition has been bombing since March in support of Yemen’s beleaguered government.
MSF last month accused the coalition of bombing its clinic in Taez, southwest Yemen, wounding nine people including two staff members.
The coalition said it would investigate that claim although it has repeatedly insisted that it does not attack civilians.
In October, air strikes hit another hospital run by MSF near Saada without causing any deaths.