Dozens killed in Somali land fights


Dozens of people were killed in clashes between troops of breakaway Somaliland and its semi-autonomous Puntland region, medical workers and military officials from both sides said.

Puntland and Somaliland have been fighting over the disputed Sool region for more than 10 years. People there are divided over which side to back.

The two sides engaged in fierce fighting on Tuesday over ownership of Tuka Raq village, seized by Somaliland last month. The village is close to Garowe, the Puntland capital.
“Yesterday, 45 dead soldiers and dozens of others injured were brought in. Three people died of wounds today including two Somaliland military officers,” Farah Said, a doctor at Lasanod town, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Puntland, which claimed to have seized the village at the centre of the fight, said lost 18 soldiers.

Said Mohamed, a doctor at Garowe hospital, told Reuters 21 injured people were brought in on Tuesday. “Two died of their wounds today,” he said.

Residents report sporadic shelling on Wednesday, as rain and burials for the dead kept a lid on military activities.

Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi urged elders and civil society groups to mediate between the two states and end the violence.