MSF withdraws staff from northern Yemen after deadly attacks

Medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Thursday it was withdrawing its staff from hospitals it supports in volatile northern Yemen after recent deadly attacks.

The group said the evacuation of staff from six hospitals there was due to "indiscriminate bombings" and "unreliable reassurances" by a Saudi-led air coalition engaged in a campaign of more than a year against rebels in Yemen.

MSF said 19 people, including a staffer, were killed Monday in an airstrike on its supported Abs hospital in the northern province of Hajjah. Initial reports had put the death toll at 11.

"The Abs hospital attack is the 4th & deadliest on any @MSF-supported facility during this war," MSF said Thursday on Twitter.

The Saudi-led alliance has intensified attacks in Yemen against rebels mainly in their northern strongholds of Saada and Hajjah since UN-sponsored peace talks between the government and rebels ended without a breakthrough in early August.

"MSF considers hospitals in #Saada & #Hajjah governorates unsafe for both patients and staff," MSF said in a series of tweets.

It said that the six hospitals would continue to operate with Health Ministry staff and volunteers.

MSF condemned the Saudi-led coalition and rebels for what it called "the way they are conducting" the war in Yemen.

Yemen's conflict has intensified since March 2015, when the Iran-allied rebels advanced on the southern city of Aden, prompting Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni allies to start an air campaign in Yemen against the group. Saudi Arabia fears that the rebels will give its regional rival, Shiite Iran, a strategic foothold on the Arabian Peninsula.

Last update: Fri, 19/08/2016 - 00:57
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