Yemen: Airstrike Hits MSF Hospital, Killing 11

Yemen rubble
A Yemeni child walks in the rubble of a house in the rebel-held capital Sanaa on August 11. More than 6,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Yemen since it began in 2015. MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images

An airstrike has hit a hospital run by medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)‎ in western Yemen, killing at least 11 people, according to the charity.

The strike immediately killed nine people upon impact, including an MSF staffer, while a further two victims died while being transferred to hospital. A further 19 people were hit in the airstrike in Abs, in Yemen's Hajjah province. There were 23 patients undergoing surgery, 25 in the maternity ward, 13 newborn children and 12 patients in pediatrics at the time of the strike, MSF said.

The airstrike, believed to have been carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which has been intervening in the Yemen civil war, partially destroyed the hospital. MSF said had the hospital had seen a recent uptick in patients, most of whom were victims of fighting and the aerial bombardment of the area.

صور من موقع #مستشفى_عبس في #حجة #اليمن المدعوم من قبل منظمة #أطباء_بلا_حدود الذي تعرض لضربة جوية عصر يوم 15/08/2016

— MSF Yemen (@msf_yemen) August 15, 2016

The Saudi-led coalition of nine Arab states backs the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was forced into exile after an uprising of Shiite Houthi rebels receiving the backing of Iran. Saudi Arabia began an airstrike campaign in Yemen in March 2015. The conflict has killed more than 6,000 people and displaced 2.5 million, according to the United Nations.

The coalition has not commented upon the MSF airstrike. The coalition was blacklisted by the U.N. in June after a report found that the strikes had killed hundreds of children, while the Houthis were also blacklisted for recruiting child soldiers.

"This is the fourth attack against an MSF facility in less than 12 months. The violence in Yemen is having a disproportionate burden on people," said MSF's Yemen branch. "MSF is outraged at having to send condolences once more to families of our staff members and 10 patients who should've been safe in a hospital."

The statement did not clarify which other attacks on MSF facilities were being referred to, but such attacks have included the bombing of an MSF-supported facility in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, by a U.S. gunship in October 2015, in which at least 42 people were killed.