MSF evacuates staff from 6 Yemen hospitals after air strike


PARIS: Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Thursday said it was evacuating its staff from six hospitals in northern Yemen after 19 people were killed in an air strike on one of its facilities earlier this week. Monday’s attack on Abs hospital in the rebel-held province of Hajja was the fourth and deadliest yet on an MSF facility in war-torn Yemen. The decision to withdraw “is never taken lightly”, the Paris-based charity said in a statement. But “given the intensity of the current offensive and our loss of confidence in the SLC’s (Saudi-led coalition’s) ability to prevent such fatal attacks, MSF considers the hospitals in Saada and Hajjah governorates unsafe for both patients and staff”, it added. The hospitals will continue to be manned by local workers and volunteers, MSF said. The Saudi-led coalition began its bombing campaign in March last year after Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels seized large parts of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa. It stepped up air strikes this month after UN-mediated peace talks between the rebels and Yemen’s internationally backed government were suspended. Monday’s bombing of Abs hospital drew international condemnation, prompting the coalition to announce an investigation into the attack. MSF said it had shared the hospital’s GPS coordinates with all parties involved in the conflict.


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