10/11/2007 - At 3.00 pm east African time fighting broke out near SOS Children's Village Mogadishu. At 3.15 four mortar shells hit the village. One security guard was seriously injured and was admitted to the Red Cross Hospital in Mogadishu. Another security guard, one SOS mother and a child received minor injuries and have been treated at the SOS Hospital. No damage to the children's village itself has been reported.
The fighting continued for another 30 minutes before ceasing at around 3.45. This is the second time this year that the SOS Children's Village has been hit by mortar shells but the first time that an SOS mother and child have been directly injured as a result. In April this year the village and SOS Hospital, which neighbours the village, were hit by mortar shells that destroyed a hospital ward and partly destroyed an unoccupied teacher's house. Shells also hit the football field, which was not being used at the time. The children's village was temporarily evacuated while mothers and children were moved to a relatively safe area.
Since co-workers, mothers and children returned to the village in early May, they have lived with the constant tension of road blocks, nearby government and Ethiopian troops and sporadic fighting between troops and insurgents. However, this is the first time since April that fighting has directly affected the project.
SOS Children's Villages is monitoring the situation and will take all necessary precautions to protect the children and co-workers.