MSF slams ‘indiscriminate’ shelling

2010-02-05 13:10

Nairobi - Aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres on Friday blamed rival forces in Somalia for indiscriminate shelling which has mainly killed and wounded civilians.

Mogadishu-based African Union peacekeepers and hardline Islamist rebels have repeatedly fired mortar shells at each other, and MSF said it was civilians who were bearing the worst brunt.

"The situation in Mogadishu is incredibly complex and all parties are to blame for the high numbers of deaths and injuries, but indiscriminate shelling into densely populated areas is totally unacceptable," said Axelle de la Motte St Pierre, MSF's head of mission.

On Monday, at least 12 civilians were killed and 55 others wounded in clashes between AU troops and hardline rebels.

MSF urged the peacekeepers, Somali government troops and the insurgents to "take all measures to minimise the risk of civilian casualties through a full implementation of the principles of distinction and proportionality".