Airstrikes hit hospitals in northwest Syria, killing at least 17

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At least 17 hospital workers and patients have been killed after a series of airstrikes on two hospitals in northwest Syria, including one which was supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), officials say. An unknown number of people remain missing.

One incident happened on Monday morning at an MSF-supported hospital in the town of Ma’arat Al Numan in Idlib province. The 30-bed hospital, which had a staff of 54, was reportedly hit by at least four missiles in two attacks within a few minutes of each other.

Doctors Without Borders confirmed that at least 7 people had been killed, including 5 patients, 1 caretaker, and a hospital guard. Eight members of staff and an unknown number of patients remain missing and are presumed to have been killed.

Mego Terzian, the head of MSF in France, told the Reuters news agency that he believed either Russia or the Syrian government were behind the airstrike in Ma’arat Al Numan, but there was no independent confirmation on who carried out the airstrikes.

“This appears to be a deliberate attack on a health structure, and we condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms,” said Massimiliano Rebaudengo, MSF’s Head of Mission. “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 second airstrike happened in the city of A’zaz, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) northwest of Aleppo, close to the border with Turkey. At least 10 people were killed there when airstrikes hit a local hospital, according to the BBC.

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