MSF Condemns Attack on ICRC in Baghdad

Valérie Batselaere/MSF
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27 October 2003 - Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) strongly condemns this morning's attack on an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) compound in Baghdad. MSF also wishes to express its deep sorrow towards the relatives, friends and colleagues of those who were killed in the attack.

The Geneva Conventions clearly forbid targeting relief workers who assist populations in war zones. Already for many months, the climate of violence in Iraq has made it very difficult for international humanitarian organizations to provide meaningful assistance. Today's attackers aimed their explosives at the symbolic heart of neutral assistance, the Red Cross/Red Crescent.

It is hard to gauge what the effects of this attack will be on the future of humanitarian assistance in Iraq. MSF will scale down its current expatriate team of seven in Baghdad, who have set up clinics and support a hospital in the poorest part of the city, but hopes to continue its medical activities as much as is possible.