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Dozens Treated After Bombardment of Displaced Persons Camp in South Somalia (UPDATED)

MSF treated dozens of people, the majority of them children, after a camp for dispalced Somalis in the Lower Juba region was hit with an aerial bombardment.

NAIROBI, OCTOBER 31, 2011 – Dozens of people wounded in an aerial bombardment that hit a displaced persons camp in southern Somalia on Sunday are being treated by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

The camp, in the town of Jilib, was hit around 1:30 PM Sunday. The wounded were treated in the town of in Marere, in Lower Juba Region, where MSF provides medical assistance.

As of Monday morning, MSF can confirm five deaths and is currently treating 45 wounded, 31 of whom are children. Seven of the 52 wounded reported yesterday have been discharged from Marere hospital since Sunday night, where they were transferred for stabilization and treatment.

Somalia has been hit by a severe humanitarian crisis since May, and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced due to violence and drought. Jilib houses a population of roughly 1,500 displaced households. MSF provides the displaced people with medical care, including a therapeutic feeding program for acutely malnourished children. The organization also distributes basic relief items such as soap, cooking oil, blankets and shelter materials.

MSF urges all parties to the conflict in Somalia to respect the rights of civilians in conflict.

MSF has been working in Somalia continuously since 1991 and currently operates 13 projects in the country, including medical activities related to the current emergency, vaccination campaign, and nutritional interventions. MSF also assists Somali refugees in camps in Dadaab, Kenya and Dolo Ado, Ethiopia.