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Last Updated: Monday, 7 June, 2004, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Somali 'womb row hospital' opens
Women with sick children
The closure sparked protests from people with sick children
The only free hospital in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, has reopened, five weeks after it shut following threats to a doctor who removed a woman's womb.

The woman's family has accepted an Islamic Sharia court ruling that backed the doctor's actions but fined him $2,000 for not consulting the family.

Doctor Bashir Sheikh Omar also accepted the ruling and promised to resume work.

Fatuma Abdulle Elmi's family had sent gunmen to the SOS hospital, saying she was as good as dead, without a womb.

Dr Bashir said the operation had saved Mrs Abdulle's life because she was carrying a dead foetus.

Camel compensation

The BBC's Mohamed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu says that the hospital gives free medicine to more than 300 women and children each day.

Many are those who have travelled to Mogadishu to escape fighting elsewhere in the country, which has not had a central government since 1991.

Hundreds of people had held demonstrations, calling for the hospital to reopen.

The woman's family demanded 50 camels, which is the traditional Somali compensation offered for the death of a woman.

Dr Bashir said that in future, families would be consulted before such operations were performed.




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