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Attacks on Health Care Bi-Monthly News Brief: 20 October-02 November 2021

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Insecurity Insight
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Past editions: 06-19 October, 22 September- 05 October.

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Explore our Attacked and Threatened: Health Care at Risk interactive global map to see incidents where health workers were killed, kidnapped or arrested (KKA) and incidents where health facilities were damaged or destroyed. Now updated to January 2016-September 2021.

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SHCC Attacks on Health Care The section aligns with the definition of attacks on health care used by the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition (SHCC).

As reported on 23 October 2021: According to an MSF report, the provision of health aid in Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria has been undermined by counterterrorism efforts of the USA and other states. Source: The New Arab


Burkina Faso

09 October 2021: In Tindangou-Nadagou, Pama town, Kompienga province Est region, one nurse and one nutritionist were reported missing while out on a mission. Source: Infowakat.Net.

16 October 2021: In Pempendiangou village, Dori town, Sahel region, an ambulance was ambushed and seized by suspected Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) militants. Source: ACLED1

22 October 2021: In Djibasso town, Djibasso department, Kossi province, Boucle du Mouhoun region, several unidentified gunmen attacked a police post, seizing an ambulance, a pick-up truck, and weaponry. Source: Sahel Security Alerts

23 October 2021: In Ganyela village, Fada N'gourma city and department Gourma province, three INGO health workers were kidnanpped and their vehicle seized by suspected Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) militants. Source: ACLED1.

In 2020, road ambushes by armed groups were a common form of violence against health workers in Burkina Faso, often carried out against Burkinabé workers travelling to provide care in remote areas. Read the full SHCC Burkina Faso Factsheet here.

Central African Republic

16 October 2021: In Kpondigmon village, Bossangoa town and district, Ouham prefecture, a health centre was looted, shops destroyed, livestock stolen and three civilians killed during an attack on the village by personnel of the Russia-linked paramilitary organisation Wagner Group, supported by the Central African Armed Forces (FACA). Sources: Corbeau News and Humangle


As reported on 24 October 2021: In May Tsebri town, Tigray region, the Ethiopian air force reportedly targeted a local hospital. Source: Garowe Online

As reported on 26 October 2021: In Amdework town, Wag Hemra zone, Amhara region, Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) forces reportedly looted and damaged a health centre, along with a training center, college and other institutions. Source: ACLED1

08 November 2021: The new opposition alliance remains capable of further advances towards Addis Ababa but a desire for international legitimacy means an assault on the city is unlikely in the short term; longer term the government is likely to be forced to change. Read the latest Flash Analysis and Predictions by Vigil Insight

Democratic Republic of the Congo

23 October 2021: In Bulongo village, Beni territory, North Kivu province, members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) attacked Bulongo village, looting pharmacies and stores and killing at least seven civilians. Sources: Humangle and La Prunelle

28 October 2021: In Bambu village, Djugu town, Ituri province, suspected Coopérative de développement économique du Congo (CODECO) rebels ambushed an MSF vehicle with five staff on board, injuring two with gunshots. Following the incident, MSF temporarily suspended its activities in the Bambu health zone. Sources: Actualité I, Actualité II, La Prunelle I, La Prunelle II, La Prunelle III, MSF Western & Central Africa, and Radio Okapi


As reported on 11 October 2021: In Bonta village, Konshinsha LGA, Benue state, the Bonta Health Centre was attacked and burnt down by Nigerian soldiers during a wider attack on the village. Patients and nursing mothers inside the maternity ward were forced to flee the clinic and three patients were killed during the attack. Source: Sahara Reporters


As reported on 24 October 2021: In Guriel town and district, Galgaduud region, Galmudug state, artillery shells of unidentified origin hit the Istarlin Hospital, causing minimal damage. As health workers were displaced, operations at the hospital were suspended. Sources: Goobjoog and OCHA

As reported on 24 October 2021: In Guriel town and district, Galgaduud region, Galmudug state, the Kulmiye Private Hospital, alongside several houses and properties, have been destroyed by an unspecified conflict party. Source: OCHA

South Sudan

Between 11 and 17 October 2021: In Tambura town and county, Western Equatoria state, an eruption of heavy fighting forced aid organisations providing health care and food assistance - including World Vision, WFP and UNICEF - to suspend operations and relocate their staff out of South Sudan. Source: Eye Radio


25 October 2021: In Khartoum, clashes relating to the 25 October military coup left ten dead, including two male doctors. Source: The Guardian

As reported on 26 October 2021: In Khartoum, military forces and Darfuri armed movements opened fire around the Royal Care Hospital, and asked staff to hand over wounded protesters amid demonstrations against the military coup. Patients hid under their beds and seats for cover. Source: The Guardian



02 November 2021: In Kabul, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up at the entrance of the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Military Hospital, followed by heavy gunfire. About 10 minutes later, a second, larger explosion took place. At least 19 people were killed and 43 others wounded. Islamic State in Khorasan Province later claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying that five of its fighters carried out the attacks. Source: Al Jazeera


As reported on 20 October 2021: The State Administration Council (SAC) is reportedly blocking aid from getting into certain areas by creating deliberate bureaucratic impediments, including delays in travel authorisation and visas at checkpoints. As a result, thousands of IDPs face shortages of food, drinking water, shelter and health care. Source: Radio Free Asia

21 October 2021: In Falam town, township and district, Chin state, SAC forces reportedly killed a medical student of the Yangan University of Medicine 2 because he had been medically treating members of the Chin National Front. His body was found on 23 October. Sources: Twitter I, Twitter II, Twitter III, MDHR and Twitter IV

23 October 2021: In an undisclosed location, a health worker reportedly died. Source: WHOSSA2

24 October 2021: In North Dagon township, Yangon, SAC forces reportedly fired indiscriminately at a private hospital and housing complex. Windows at the hospital were destroyed by gunfire, and a civilian on a motorcycle taxi was killed. Source: MDHR and WHOSSA2

25 October 2021: In an undisclosed location, a health worker reportedly died. Source: WHOSSA2

27 October 2021: In Shwe Pyi Aye village, Pekon township, Shan state, SAC forces reportedly fired heavy artillery into the village indiscriminately, destroying a public clinic and five houses. 270 civilians were forced to flee their homes. Sources: Khit Thit News and Twitter

28 October 2021: In Tharyarkone village, Launglon township, Tanintharyi region, SAC forces reportedly raided a charity medical organisations’ office, seizing an ambulance. Source: Twitter

29 October 2021: In Kanbalu township, Sagaing region, approximately 50 SAC soldiers reportedly searched the home of a prominent doctor and pro-democracy politician. His small, family-owned private hospital was forcibly closed and 29 patients discharged. Source: Twitter

01 November 2021: In an undisclosed location, a health worker or patient reportedly died. Source: WHOSSA2

03 November 2021: In Natchaung village, Kale township, Sagaing region, SAC forces reportedly fired on an ambulance aiding injured civilians, injuring two medics. Source: Khit Thit News

February-September 2021: At least 297 reported attacks and threats to health care have occurred during the last eight months of the Myanmar military’s brutal crackdown on its democratic opposition. Over 210 health workers have been arrested and hospitals have been raided at least 87 times. Read the report, download the data, explore our global map.

Middle East and North Africa

Syrian Arab Republic

16 October 2021: In al-Shaheel city, Deir-ez-Zor district and governorate, gunmen stormed the Public Surgery Hospital and opened fire on a doctor, severely injuring him. Source: SOHR

The Americas


16 October 2021: In Martissant district, Port-au-Prince, Ouest department, a group of armed men kidnapped a female doctor while she was on her way home. She was released for ransom four days later. Source: Le Nouvelliste Global Health Insecurity

These events go beyond the definition used by the SHCC to cover a wider range of events that affect the provision of health care including events perpetrated by patients or relatives of patients, private individuals and criminals as well as significant strike action or protests by health care personnel.



As reported on 22 October 2021: Police and military officials opened fire on health workers and other civilians who were on their way to deliver a petition to parliament demanding better living conditions. A young bystander was killed, whilst 30 nurses got injured. In response, nurses staged protests at three hospitals, including the Nhlangano Health Centre. Source: BBC


As reported on 25 October 2021: In Katsina LGA and state, a nurse at the General Ahmadi Rimi Orthopaedic Hospital was beaten by five police officers after he refused to obey the orders of the chief policeman. Source: Sahara Reporters



26 October 2021: In Vadodara district, Gujarat state, two doctors were harassed over four days by two relatives of a patient they were treating. One doctor was badly injured in his eyes. The perpetrators were arrested. Source: Medical Dialogues

1 Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) database attribution policy. Accessed 29th October 2021. 2 WHOSSA accessed x 2021. x incidents reported for the period 10 November 2021.