MSF demands explanation for Yemen hospital strike

Doctors Without Borders demands explanation from Saudi-led coalition for bombing of hospital that it supports in Yemen as Saudi Arabia denies responsibility

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A sign is pictured over a black sheet outside the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland October 7, 2015

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has asked Saudi-led coalition forces for an explanation over a bomb attack that took place on October 26 which destroyed the MSF-run Heedan hospital in Yemen’s Saada Province.

The head of operations for MSF Isabelle Defourny said, "What we demand is that the coalition recognises that this bombing took place, explains what happened, and commits to helping with the deployment of humanitarian assistance," during a press conference held in Paris.

"The hospital was hit by coalition air strikes, for us that is without a shadow of a doubt," she added.

MSF argues that its facility was completely destroyed due to several airstrikes carried out by Saudi-led coalition forces which have been operating an air campaign against Houthi militants since March 26.

However, the Saudi mission to the United Nations released a statement on Wednesday saying "the Arab coalition aircrafts did not attack the hospital" and they were not in Saada at that time.

According to the United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, the Heedan hospital is the 39th health facility to be hit by air strikes in Yemen since the coalition started its campaign.

The Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has condemned the attack, demanding, “a prompt, effective and impartial investigation in order to ensure accountability.”

He said all parties in the crisis should "immediately cease all operations, including air strikes."

Another MSF-run hospital was hit by a US air strike in the Afghan city of Kunduz on October 3 which killed at least 30 people including 12 medical staff.

TRTWorld and agencies