January 11, 2016 / 1:06 PM / in 2 years

Saudi-led air strike targets Yemen hospital: Saba news agency

CAIRO (Reuters) - A hospital in central Yemen was hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike on Monday, the state news agency said, a day after aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) reported that a “projectile” had killed four people in one of its clinics.

Saba, the Yemeni news agency run by the dominant Houthi movement since it seized the capital Sanaa last year, said the clinic in the Swadi district of Bayda province was destroyed.

But an official in Yemen’s government, now based in the southern port of Aden after being driven out of the capital Sanaa by Houthi forces, said the clinic was only damaged and that several Houthi fighters using it as a base were killed.

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen’s war last March against the Iran-allied Houthis, a campaign Riyadh says is aimed at repelling what it sees as creeping Iranian influence in the Arabian Peninsula region.

Nearly 6,000 people have been killed since the Saudi coalition entered the conflict, almost half of them civilians. The war has exacerbated hunger and disease in Yemen, the region’s poorest country.

On Sunday, MSF said a “projectile” hit a hospital supported by the global charity in Yemen’s far northern province of Saada, the third major attack on its medical centers during nine months of war.

MSF said it was not clear who was behind the attack.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack later on Sunday, calling on Yemen’s warring parties to “immediately cease all hostilities” and resume U.N.-backed peace talks, which ended without result last month.

Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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