The interior of an underground hospital that was hit by an airstrike is pictured in the rebel held town of Kafr Zita, Hama countryside, Syria October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah
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Even entombing the hospital under solid rock tunneled beneath a mountain was not enough to protect it from bombs dropped by Syria's government or its Russian allies, medical staff say. Opposition groups built the "central cave hospital" north of Hama to withstand bombardment, tunneling into a mountain in northwestern Syria for more than a year to bury it below 17 meters of rock. According to Darwish, two waves of strikes hit the hospital.At least one of the bombs dropped on the cave hospital appeared to be a bunker-buster because of the force of the blast, said Ahmad al-Dbis, of the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM), a coalition of international aid agencies which funds hospitals in Syria, including this one."It was hit at the height of our work, at a time when there was the largest number of patients and wounded," Dbis said.All medical staff and patients were evacuated while equipment was put into storage for fear of another attack on the hospital, he said, describing it as the best-fortified in all of rebel-held Syria.
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