Red Cross Sends Aid to Troubled Southern Somalia

Posted December 30th, 2011 at 5:30 am (UTC-5)
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The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has sent emergency medical supplies to three cities in southern Somalia, where the Kenyan military is battling the Islamic militant group al-Shabab.

ICRC said Friday it provided the “urgently needed” supplies to “both sides of the front line” in response to the ongoing armed clashes there.

The group sent a ton of surgical supplies to a hospital in Kismayo, an al-Shabab stronghold. It also delivered 300 kilograms of supplies to facilities in the Somali border towns of Afmadow and Dobley.

ICRC said the “most recent phase of fighting” has resulted in over 100 civilian casualties, though many more may be unable to seek medical attention because of dangerous conditions.

The aid organization also called on “all warring parties” to comply with international law and avoid harming civilians and the wounded during military operations.

Since October, Kenya's military has carried out air raids and a ground operation in southern Somalia in order to clear the area of Somali insurgent group al-Shabab.

Kenya accuses the al-Qaida-linked militant group of kidnapping foreigners on Kenyan soil.

The militants say they are fighting to overthrow Somalia's United Nations-backed government and impose a strict form of Islamic law.