Somalia: New Offensive Causes Scores of Casualties

February 28, 2011

Somalia: New Offensive Causes Scores of Casualties © Frederic Courbet / Panos

Amidst fierce fighting in and around Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, dozens of severely wounded people are being treated by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams.

Since a joint Transitional Federal Government-African Union Peacekeeping Force (AMISOM) launched an offensive on February 20 against armed opposition in parts of south-central Somalia, MSF teams working at the main hospital in Daynile, a town on the outskirts of Mogadishu, treated more than 170 people as of February 27, many suffering from severe war-related injuries.

Among the wounded were 27 children under 14-years of age, and 39 women, all with blast- or gunshot-related injuries. The MSF team performed 43 surgeries, including 21 laparotomies (major abdominal surgical procedures).

Eighteen people died during the one week period.

The MSF team, working around the clock, has had to erect tents on the hospital grounds to accommodate the increased patient load. Medical supplies are running low and an emergency resupply is being planned.

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