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Monrovia: Shells Hit MSF Hospital Compound Neighborhood

MSF Urges Warring Parties to Stop Targeting Civilians and Medical Facilities

Monrovia, 25 July 2003 - This morning shells landed in Monrovia's "Mamba Point" neighborhood, where the international medical humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has been running two hospitals since the city's public hospital was forced to close a month ago. One shell exploded only ten meters from the gates of the hospital compounds. The MSF teams have already received more than 50 wounded and 11 dead.

The intense bombing has made it even harder for MSF staff to provide desperately needed medical care in the city.

"On Saturday a bullet landed in the middle of our hospital's pediatric ward. Today shells are landing right outside our gates. Civilians, including children, are being killed," said Alain Kassa, MSF Head of Mission in Liberia. "In Monrovia, people are dying of cholera and there is a severe shortage of food and water. We fear that the situation in other parts of Liberia may also be dire. Humanitarian organizations have not had safe access to regions such as Lofa county for more than two years."

MSF urges all warring parties to stop targeting civilians and cease attacks which jeopardize the very few medical facilities that remain functional. The wounded must be allowed safe access to medical treatment. Medical workers must be allowed to treat patients safely within medical facilities.