JUDA, South Sudan, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese people are being denied medical care due to devastating attacks on medical facilities, Doctors Without Borders said.
Clashes between government forces and rebel groups broke out in South Sudan on Dec. 15 after former Vice President Riek Machar allegedly attempted to stage a coup. Machar, who was pushed out of office when President Salva Kiir reshuffled his Cabinet in July, has denied the coup allegations.
The ensuing violence has led to patients being shot in their beds, medical equipment being looted and in one case an entire hospital was destroyed, Doctors Without Borders said in a statement.
"Assaults on medical facilities and patients are part of a broader backdrop of brutal attacks on towns, markets and public facilities," said Raphael Gorgeu, Doctors Without Borders head of mission. "These attacks show a complete lack of respect for medical care and deprive the most vulnerable of lifesaving assistance just when they need it most."
The international organization said it discovered at least 14 dead Feb. 22 at Malakal Teaching Hospital, many showing signs they had been shot dead in their hospital beds.