Intense fighting in Mogadishu, Somalia - MSF treats 121 wounded in 24 hours

On Tuesday, February 24, scores of civilians were injured in a new surge of fighting in multiple locations in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

So far, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams have treated 121 casualties in Daynile Hospital, by far the largest influx of wounded people since MSF opened its surgical program in Daynile, on the outskirts of Mogadishu, in September 2007.

Of the 121 people treated in hospital's emergency room since yesterday, 47 were women and children under the age of 14, reflecting once again the high price paid by the civilian population in the ongoing conflict. Four patients, including two children, died in the emergency room yesterday. Another 19 wounded people were treated in the emergency room today: among them seven children who were injured after their school was shelled. One child later died.

All the injuries were the result of blast or gunshot wounds. People suffered multiple injuries, predominantly wounds to the abdomen, chest and head. So far, eight patients have required immediate surgical intervention.

"The team worked all the night with no rest," said Shelagh Woods, MSF head of mission in Somalia.

In 2008, the 60-bed MSF hospital in Daynile treated 5,250 people suffering from traumatic injuries, 3,093 of whom were treated for war-related wounds. More than half of the war-wounded patients were women and children under 14 years of age.

MSF is an independent medical humanitarian organization that has been working in Somalia since 1991 and calls on all parties to the conflict to respect the safety and security of civilians.