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Somalia: mortars hit Mogadishu's Keysaney Hospital

23-01-2012 News Release 12/15

Geneva/Nairobi (ICRC) – Keysaney Hospital in northern Mogadishu was hit by two mortar shells last night.

Fortunately, no one was injured or killed. The shells landed in a garden and between two buildings. Both areas are within the hospital compound. The incident left cracks in the wall of the operating theatre, felled some trees and damaged water pipes. The hospital was clearly marked with the red crescent emblem.

"We are extremely worried about the patients and staff at Keysaney. The situation is really desperate when people cannot even feel safe in a hospital. Medical personnel and facilities are scarce in Somalia," said Dr Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, president of the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS). "The services provided by Keysaney are absolutely vital."

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Somali Red Crescent Society remind all parties to the conflict that under international humanitarian law medical facilities must be respected and protected at all times. The parties must spare medical staff and hospitals, clinics and similar medical facilities the effects of hostilities. Whether launching an attack or positioning military personnel and materiel, all those involved in the hostilities must take every feasible precaution to minimize the potential harm to civilians and to civilian objects such as hospitals.

Keysaney is one of two ICRC-supported surgical referral hospitals in Mogadishu. It is managed by the Somali Red Crescent and accepts all patients, regardless of their clan and religious or political background. The ICRC provides the hospital with surgical equipment, medicines and training for doctors and nurses. Nearly 2,000 war patients were treated at Keysaney Hospital in 2011. Almost 30,000 patients with weapon-related injuries, including many women and children, have received treatment at the hospital since it was inaugurated in 1992.

For further information, please contact:
Anna Schaaf, ICRC Nairobi, tel: +254 722 512 728
Jean-Yves Clémenzo, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 09