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MSF statement in response to latest coalition offensive

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Abs, Yemen – MSF today issued the following statement in response to the Saudi-led coalition's stated plans to heavily bomb Yemen's Saada (صعدة/Sa'dah) governorate.

The statement is attributed to Llanos Ortiz, MSF medical coordinator in Yemen.

"The bombing of civilian targets, with or without warning, is a serious violation of international humanitarian law. It is even more serious to target a whole province.

It is impossible for the population of the entire province of Saada to leave within a few hours. Many people have neither vehicles nor fuel due to the coalition's blockade. Many others have no access to information as the phone networks are barely operational in the province.

If the coalition proceeds with the threat of bombing the province massively, many people will die under the bombs. We call on the coalition to avoid attacking civilian targets, especially hospitals and water distribution systems.

There is also the risk of creating an exodus of thousands of people towards the mountains south of Saada, where humanitarian aid will not reach them in time. Together with the blockade, all airports in the country have been destroyed by coalition air strikes, which could provoke an even greater humanitarian disaster than the one we are already facing."

Together with a Yemeni ministry of health team, MSF is treating wounded people in Al Gumhury hospital in Saada.

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Press Release 27 April 2015