Doctors Without Borders facility in Yemen destroyed by airstrike

Press Association — Oct 27, 2015

A Saudi-led and US-backed coalition has been launching airstrikes against Yemen's Shiite rebels and their allies since March (AP)

A small medical facility in northern Yemen run by Doctors Without Borders has been destroyed by two airstrikes but there were no casualties, the aid group’s chief in the country said.

The first strike came around 11pm on Monday and hit a building housing the facility’s administration offices in Saada province, according to Hassan Boucenine.

No one was inside at the time, he said, adding that by the time a second strike targeted the main nearby building about 10 minutes later, its occupants – some 12 staff and patients – had been evacuated.

“It’s completely destroyed,” Mr Boucenine said.

A Saudi-led and US-backed coalition has been launching airstrikes against Yemen’s Shiite rebels, also known as Houthis, and their allies since March.

Saada, the Houthis’ stronghold, has faced a particularly intense bombardment.

The strike was the second attack this month on the international medical charity, which is also known by its French acronym MSF.

On October 3, US gunships bombed an MSF hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz, killing at least 13 staff members and 10 patients and wounding many others.

The main building was destroyed and the hospital has since been shut down.

US forces in Afghanistan said the hospital was bombed by mistake after Afghan forces requested an air strike, and President Barack Obama apologised.

Yemen has been embroiled in fighting between the Houthis and allied army units against forces loyal to the internationally recognised government as well as southern separatists and other militants.

The conflict gained international attention when the Houthis took over the capital, Sanaa, in September last year, and escalated in March when the coalition started launching airstrikes against Houthi positions.

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