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Report: Somali civilians suffer high number of injuries during war

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • A medical aid organization says women and young children "bear the brunt of the violence"
  • About half the patients at a hospital suffered from war-related injuries
  • Most of the war-wounded patients suffered serious blast injuries

(CNN) -- A high proportion of civilians -- including large numbers of women and young children -- suffered injuries during Somalia's ongoing warfare, according to a report by Doctors Without Borders.

The medical and humanitarian aid organization gathered data at Dayniile Hospital near Mogadishu over the first seven months of the year. Almost half of the 2,854 patients suffered war-related injuries, the report said. About 38 percent of patients with war-related injuries were women and children under 14 years old.

Most of the patients with war-related injuries suffered "serious blast injuries largely consistent with intensive mortar fire in residential areas of the city," the medical group said.

"As the fighting continues, more and more civilians are being admitted to Dayniile Hospital with horrible injuries," said Dr. Naidu Uday Raj, the group's medical coordinator for Somalia. "People are arriving at the hospital with serious blast wounds and high-velocity gunshot injuries, including severe fractures. Many people require surgery. Women and young children continue to bear the brunt of the violence."

On July 27, 45 people were taken to Dayniile Hospital after heavy shelling between Transitional Federal Government, the African Union Peacekeeping Force and opposition groups. More than half of the patients were women and young children.

More than 300,000 out of Somalia's estimated 1.4 million internally displaced people are hunkered down in Mogadishu.

Somalia has been wracked by violence and lawlessness for almost 20 years when rebel forces overthrew the government of Siad Barre in 1991.