Horror over maternity hospital attack

The United Nations has expressed its „shock“ over reports of a Russian strike on a children’s hospital and maternity ward in the city of Mariupol. Tha attack left children buried under the rubble, according to Ukrainian officials.

The bombing has not been independently verified, but the spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said the UN was urgently investigating the “shocking” reports.

He reiterated the UN’s call for an immediate halt to attacks on healthcare, hospitals, health-workers and ambulances, reminding that “none of these, should ever be a target.”

Any attacks on healthcare, are a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law.

In a tweet, Mr. Guterres described reports of the attack as “horrific”, noting that civilians were paying “the highest price, for a war that has nothing to do with them. This senseless violence must stop.”

Horrific toll on children

In a statementUNICEF chief, Catherine Russell, said she was “horrified by the reported attack…an attack which reportedly left young children and women in labour, buried beneath the rubble of destroyed buildings. We do not yet know the number of casualties but fear the worst.”

“This attack, if confirmed, underscores the horrific toll this war is exacting on Ukraine’s children and families” she added. “In less than two weeks, at least 37 children have been killed and 50 injured, while more than one million children have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries.

Multiple attacks

Briefing journalists in Geneva, World Health Organization chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that so far, WHOhas verified 18 attacks on health facilities, health workers and ambulances amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including 10 deaths and 16 injuries.

“These attacks deprive whole communities of health care”, he said.