Doctors Without Borders says hospital in Syria destroyed by airstrikes

By Andrew V. Pestano   |   Feb. 15, 2016 at 7:48 AM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders in Syria was destroyed after alleged Russian airstrikes Monday morning, the organization said.

The airstrikes in the northwestern city of Maarat al-Numan reportedly killed at least nine people, including a child. Doctors Without Borders, known officially as Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF, said the hospital was struck four times within minutes.

"This appears to be a deliberate attack on a health structure, and we condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms," MSF representative Massimiliano Rebaudengo wrote in a statement. "The destruction of the hospital leaves the local population of around 40,000 people without access to medical services in an active zone of conflict."

The hospital had 30 beds and 54 employees. MSF said eight staff members were missing.

The latest strike follows another on an MSF hospital earlier this month that killed three in the Dara'a governorate, near the Jordanian border. In October, an MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was destroyed by a U.S. airstrike that killed 42 people, including patients and medical staff. President Barack Obama apologized for the errant strike but MSF has called for an independent international investigation.

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