ICRC report: Hospitals, medical staff targeted in wars

August 10, 2011 10:29

GENEVA - Hospitals, health care workers and ambulances are increasingly targeted in conflicts from Libya to Somalia, depriving millions of sick and wounded of treatment, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday.

The independent aid agency, which delivers vital supplies and collects the wounded and dead from battlefields, called for a halt to deadly assaults on medical facilities and personnel.

"Hospitals in Sri Lanka and Somalia have been shelled, ambulances in Libya shot at, paramedics in Colombia killed and wounded people in Afghanistan forced to languish for hours in vehicles held up at checkpoints," Yves Daccord, ICRC director-general, said in a statement.

The ICRC has documented security incidents in 16 countries that disrupted delivery of health care, many of them deliberate attacks violating international humanitarian law, according to its report "Health Care in Danger: Making the Case."

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