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Dozens Treated After Bombardment of Displaced Persons Camp in South Somalia

NAIROBI, OCTOBER 30, 2011 – Dozens of people wounded in an aerial bombardment that hit a displaced persons camp in southern Somalia on Sunday were being treated by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

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

As of late Sunday afternoon, at least three people were reported dead and 52 injured, mostly women and children. MSF is transporting the wounded to the hospital in Marere for stabilization and treatment, and may have to refer some patients to other facilities due to limited surgical capacity at the hospital. 

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.