MOGADISHU, Somalia -- A missile hit a hospital ward packed with civilians who had already been wounded in fighting between Islamic insurgents and Ethiopian troops allied to the Somali government, an aid official said yesterday. It was not immediately clear if it the attack caused additional casualties.
The ward was housing 20 to 30 wounded adults, said Wilhelm Huber, regional director for SOS Children's Villages, an international social development organization. The children had been evacuated earlier, he said.
Five missiles hit the hospital grounds in the lunchtime attack, but only one struck a ward, Huber said.
"What is happening now cannot go on," Huber said. "This is a tragic situation."
Earlier in the day, civilians were caught in crossfire as the Somali government's Ethiopian backers pounded insurgent strongholds, witnesses said.
Ethiopian officials met with Mogadishu's dominant clan to try to broker a truce, said Abdullahi Sheik Hassan, a spokesman with Mogadishu's powerful Hawiye clan. Hundreds have been killed in eight straight days of fighting.