Yemen: Airstrikes in Saada Wound Dozens, Kill An Ambulance Driver, Among Others

Yann Geay/MSF

At roughly 4 p.m. local time on January 21, an airstrike hit the ambulance service of the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-supported Al Gomhoury Hospital in Yemen’s Saada governorate, killing one Ministry of Health (MOH) staff member.

The incident took place in Dhayan, about 20 kilometers [12 miles] from the city of Saada and not far from Shiara hospital, which MSF also supports, and which was also hit with a projectile, on January 10, in an attack that killed six people.

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In this latest instance of an attack on a medical facility or medical personnel in Yemen, the ambulance was responding to an earlier bombing in Dhayan. Just as it arrived and people were gathering to assist the victims of the initial bombing, the same site was hit again with another airstrike, wounding many people. A third strike was then launched, hitting the ambulance and killing its driver.

The nearby towns of Baqim and Al Jawf were hit by airstrikes on the same day. The total number of wounded and killed is still uncertain. MSF teams received 40 casualties, six of whom later died from their injuries.

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“This latest loss of a colleague is devastating, and it demonstrates the ruthlessness with which healthcare is coming under attack in Yemen,” says Teresa Sancristoval, Emergency Coordinator at MSF. “People there are being subjected to this kind of violence on a daily basis. No one, not even healthcare workers, is being spared.”

Ministry of Health and MSF teams continue to work at full capacity in the Al Gomhoury hospital.

Read More About MSF's Work in Yemen