GENEVA, Switzerland, June 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- A car bomb exploded in Mogadishu at around 7.30 this morning inside the compound of Keysaney Hospital, a facility run by the Somali Red Crescent Society with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). One person was killed and seven others were injured in the blast.
The victim, a medical student, was not a Somali Red Crescent staff member. Of the seven people injured, two are Red Crescent nurses, the five others – including one woman who sustained severe injuries – patients' relatives. All are currently receiving treatment at the hospital.
According to the Somali Red Crescent, the explosion took place in the area where hospital staff park their cars. "The bomb exploded in a car belonging to one of our staff," said Somali Red Crescent Vice-President Yusuf Hassan Mohamed. "It exploded when the engine was switched on by one of his friends, who was killed on the spot."
"We do not know the motives behind this incident or whether the target was an individual or the hospital itself," said Patrick Vial, head of the ICRC delegation in Somalia. The Somali Red Crescent and the ICRC are calling with renewed urgency for health-care facilities and personnel, and their patients, to be treated with special restraint. People providing or receiving health care should be protected at all times and not be the object of attacks.
Keysaney Hospital, a 65-bed emergency facility in Mogadishu, has provided surgical and other medical care for more than 20 years, treating an average of 3,000 patients each year. It admits all persons in need of treatment, regardless of their origin, clan affiliation or political views. This is the first time the hospital, where the red crescent emblem is prominently displayed, has been hit directly except by random shelling during the conflict.