HARGEISA, 6 December 2009 (Somalilandpress) – An explosion at a graduation ceremony being held at a hotel in Mogadishu/Somalia has injured many people including two doctors who work at the SOS Hospital in the city.

Dr Abdullahi Hussein, the senior medical officer at the SOS Hospital and his colleague Dr Tahlil Abdi were attending a graduation ceremony for medical students of Banadir University. They were among the invited guests at the ceremony, who also included government ministers and other dignitaries. According to the BBC the huge explosion occurred in a meeting hall of the hotel which held several hundred people. It is reported that at least two government ministers died in the blast including the minister of health.

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An arrangement between Banadir University and SOS Children’s Villages allows medical students from the university to get practical experience at the SOS Hospital. For that reason several SOS medical staff were in attendance at the graduation ceremony.

Dr Abdullahi is a paediatrician who was trained in Mogadishu and first worked at the SOS Hospital in 1991. In 1995 he went to Italy for further training before taking up a post in the UK. He returned to Mogadishu to work for SOS Children’s Villages in 2005 and has been instrumental in keeping the hospital running while setting up a satellite facility in Afgoye, 30 km from the capital. Both Dr Abdullahi and Dr Tahlil are being treated in hospital. A third doctor from Hargeisa in Somaliland, who was an intern at the SOS Hospital, is still missing.

Source: SOS-Kinderdorf International