Aid agency closes clinic in violent Mogadishu area

Other News Materials 2 September 2008 21:57 (UTC +04:00)

Humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Tuesday it had been forced to close a clinic in Somali capital Mogadishu due to increased violence.

MSF said a surge in fighting had led to "unacceptable security risks for patients and staff" and forced it to shut down the clinic in the Wardigley/Hodan area of Mogadishu.

"The fighting around the clinic has significantly increased," Marcel Langenbach, head of the MSF Emergency Team said in statement.

"Several mortars have landed very close by and recently a rocket propelled grenade actually entered the top floor of our building but thankfully did not detonate," he continued.

MSF said that while it continued to deliver health services throughout much of Somali, thousands of people would now be left without care.

UN agencies say over 6,000 civilians have died in an insurgency that exploded in early 2007 after Ethiopian troops kicked out the Islamist regime and helped reinstate the transitional government.

Almost one million Somalis have fled fighting in the capital Mogadishu and are now living in camps outside the city or have crossed the border to Kenya.

Somalia has been plagued by chaos and clan-based civil war since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in 1991, dpa reported.