"It's good times now," he told me when we met a few weeks ago. "We are only getting four to six gunshot casualties a day. That's very good." He pointed at the blackboard covered with his neat white handwriting: it recorded that 86 patients were undergoing treatment. "During the Ethiopian war [2007-08] we had 300 in this hospital."Reporter Ghaith Abdul-Ahad was not prepared for what he found in the Somali capital Link to this audio Few respites in this most ravaged of cities last long, and within days of our conversation the relative calm had given way to a more familiar story: running battles between the forces of Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the notional president, and the more radical Islamist al-Shabaab militia. More than 200 people have been killed in these skirmishes and as many as 60,000 people have fled.Yet the chances are you won't have heard about it: with the exception of the latest pirate drama, Somalia is the country the world forgot, a state so broken that scenes which would elsewhere dominate international news bulletins are barely noted on the foreign pages of major newspapers. Last year Foreign Policy magazine ranked Somalia as the state most at risk of total collapse, a verdict some might have considered flattering.Yesterday I spoke to Mahmoud again. The hospital was full and around 40 patients were having to sleep under the trees outside. "We need tents to shelter the patients from rain, and medicine is running very low. If the fighting continues we will be without medicine." The number on his blackboard was 167.