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ICRC resumes food distribution in southern Somalia after air strike

11-02-2011 15:57 BJT

NAIROBI, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has resumed its distribution of food to over 6, 000 displaced people in a camp in Jilib district, southern Somalia after an airstrike killed at least five people and dozens others at a refugee camp, said a statement from the relief agency on Wednesday.

The statement said the distribution, which is being carried out in cooperation with the Somali Red Crescent Society, was temporarily suspended following an air raid on Oct. 30 that left a number of people in the camp killed or wounded.

"The ICRC and the Somali Red Crescent remind all parties to the conflict of their obligation to spare the civilian population," said Pascal Mauchle, head of the ICRC delegation for Somalia in Nairobi.

An airstrike on Sunday hit the southern Somali town of Jilib, killing at least five people and injured 52 others.

The Sunday's strike targeted an area where Al-Shabaab militants were distributing food to internally displaced people. Kenya is blaming the insurgents for the deaths of civilians.

Military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said on Monday the insurgents drove a burning truck with explosives into the camp in the town of Jilib where it exploded, causing the civilian deaths on Sunday.

In the aftermath of the raid, the ICRC said Somali Red Crescent volunteers administered first aid to the wounded and helped transfer them to medical facilities outside the camp.

"All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. Humanitarian relief personnel must also be respected and protected," Mauchle said.

The ICRC provided the facilities with medicines and other supplies needed to treat the wounded.

The militant group has lost ground to Somali government and African Union troops in recent months but still controls considerable territory in southern and central Somalia.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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