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Air strikes hit Syria hospital backed by Doctors Without Borders, killing nine

Airstrikes, reportedly by Russia, have hit a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders in Syria, killing nine people. Dozens were also left wounded.

Syrien Luftangriff auf MSF Krankenhaus in der Provinz Idlib

People gather at the reported scene of the hospital bombing

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring organization based in the UK, reported that a building that housed a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was "destroyed by aircraft, presumably Russian."

The Observatory, which relies on a network of sources on the ground, reported that dozens were also left wounded. The attack took place near Maaret al-Numan, about 280 kilometres (170 miles) north of Damascus in the Idlib province.

The hospital reportedly has 54 staff and holds 30 beds. MSF supports around 150 hospitals in Syria and has reported that civilians have been targeted during air raids, and have been victims of chemical attacks.

MSF condemns attack

An MSF spokesman confirmed that a hospital supported by the aid group had "deliberately" been struck by as many as four missiles. The organization was unable to confirm the death toll.

"This is a deliberate attack against a health establishment," said Massimiliano Rebaudengo, MSF head of mission.

"The destruction of this hospital deprives about 40,000 people of health care in this conflict zone," Rebaudengo said.

Russian warplanes have been conducting airstrikes in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces since September 30.

ss/rc (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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