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Saudi Coalition Airstrike Hits MSF Hospital in Northern Yemen

  • Lou Lorscheider

FILE - A worker looks for survivors under the rubble of a food factory hit by Saudi-led airstrikes in Sana'a, Yemen, Aug. 9, 2016.

FILE - A worker looks for survivors under the rubble of a food factory hit by Saudi-led airstrikes in Sana'a, Yemen, Aug. 9, 2016.

A Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a hospital in Yemen's northern Hajja province Monday, killing more than a dozen people and wounding about 20 others.

The hospital is run by the volunteer medical aid group Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF. By late in the day its director reported 15 deaths, including those of three foreign physicians. Ibrahim Aram also told the New York Times that three other medical personnel were among the wounded and that three other staffers had limbs amputated.

The coalition airstrike came just two days after similar Saudi strikes hit a residential area near the Saudi border killing at least 19 people, most of them children in a school. That strike at Haydan and the deaths of 10 children between the ages of 8 and 15 drew immediate condemnation from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

In a statement Monday, MSF decried the "tragic consequences" of the attack on a "fully-functional hospital full of patients." It said Monday's bombing was the fourth such attack` against an MSF facility in the past 12 months.

A spokesman for the Saudi coalition backing Yemen's internationally recognized President Abu Rabu Mansour Hadi said the bombing targeted a training facility run by Iran-backed Shi'ite Houthi rebels battling Hadi government.

Rights groups have blamed both sides in the conflict of abuses, particularly in failing to protect civilians. U.N.-led peace efforts have failed to end the fighting.

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