Thursday, 27 January 2011

Somalians wounded in fighting surged in 2010 - ICRC

By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA (Reuters) - Fighting between Somali forces and Islamist rebels in Mogadishu took a heavy toll in 2010, with hospitals treating the largest number of casualties in at least a decade, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.
More than 6,000 wounded people received medical care last year in Keysaney and Medina, the two main hospitals in Somalia's battered capital, the humanitarian agency said. Nearly 40 percent were women and children caught in the line of fire.
"Severely wounded people arrive at all hours, even in the middle of the night," said Pascal Mauchle, head of the ICRC's Somalia delegation.
The ICRC, one of the few international aid groups still working in anarchic Somalia, has no figures for the number of people killed in the conflict last year. But the number of people wounded in Mogadishu increased from 5,000 in 2009 and 2,800 in 2008.
"Definitely for a decade it is the highest number," ICRC spokeswoman Nicole Engelbrecht told Reuters Thursday.
Somalia has been mired in conflict and awash with weapons since the downfall of a dictator 20 years ago.
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