Sat | Sep 23, 2017

More than 700 medical workers killed in Syrian conflict

Published:Sunday | April 23, 2017 | 4:00 AM

BEIRUT (AP):

Missiles struck a medical centre in Syria's northern rebel-held province, putting the facility built underground for protection out of service and killing a number of its staff, opposition activists said yesterday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that air strikes had seriously damaged the medical centre in Abdin village in Idlib.

The activist-run Aleppo Today media group also reported on the air strikes.

But later, the observatory said missiles, likely fired from land, also hit the underground centre, penetrating it and causing serious damage to the facility.

International medical charities say Syrian government forces target hospitals, clinics and ambulances in opposition-held areas. To protect against the targeting, many opposition-area medical facilities have set up their operations underground.

The attack against the Abdin medical centre caused fires and killed a person in the vicinity, the observatory said. Rescue workers sifted through the rubble to find survivors, lifting nine medical staff as the search continued for four still missing.

The Aleppo Today group said three medical staff members were presumed killed.

According to Physicians for Human Rights, government and allied Russian forces have killed 727 medical workers in the course of the conflict.