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Somalia: shelling of Mogadishu hospital results in several casualties

15-09-2009 News Release 09/185

Geneva (ICRC) – Martini Hospital in southern Mogadishu was hit by shells last Friday, 11 September, killing several people and wounding at least 17, including children.

The hospital is now used to house disabled people and their families. Somali Red Crescent volunteers rushed to the scene and transferred the wounded to Medina Hospital.

Although nothing suggests that Martini Hospital was deliberately targeted, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Somali Red Crescent remind all parties to the conflict of their obligation to spare medical staff and hospitals, clinics and similar facilities.

The ICRC is very concerned about the plight of civilians, who are often caught up in the fighting. " Violence remains a feature of everyday life for many Somalis, especially those living in Mogadishu, as armed conflict and a lack of respect for human life continue to affect the population on a daily basis, " said Benjamin Wahren, the ICRC's deputy head of operations for the Horn of Africa. Since the beginning of this year, the two surgical referral hospitals in Mogadishu supported by the ICRC, Keysaney and Medina Hospitals, have treated around 3,700 war-wounded patients, including over 350 children and nearly 600 women.

The ICRC continues to work closely with the Somali Red Crescent and to provide emergency aid for victims of conflict and natural disasters in Somalia.

  For further information, please contact:
  Pedram Yazdi, ICRC Somalia, tel: +254 20 272 3963 or +254 722 518 142
  Nicole Engelbrecht, ICRC Nairobi, tel: +254 20 272 39 63 or +254 722 51 27 28
  Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24