100 feared dead in Somalia clashes
HARGEISA: More than 100 people were reported killed on Saturday in fighting between the rival Somali enclaves of Puntland and Somaliland, which accused Somalia’s new president of invading the breakaway territory.
Puntland political boss Abdullahi Yusuf, elected Somalia’s new president on Oct. 10, has pledged to work peacefully with Somaliland as he tries to restore order to the lawless country which descended into anarchy in 1991 following the ousting of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. But his election alarmed Somaliland, hostile to a man long seen as the neighbouring territory’s arch foe. It warned Yusuf on Oct. 12 against any attempted aggression and said it was on alert against any move to reunite Somaliland with the rest of Somalia.
“Full mobilisation of our soldiers is going on and will continue until Abdullahi Yusuf’s forces leave our territory,” a spokesman for the Somaliland president said on Saturday, adding that fighting had stopped because of heavy rains. A spokesman for Somaliland’s Office of Defence said the death toll from the fighting, which erupted on Friday at the village of Adi-Addeye, about 30 km north of Las Anod, had risen to 109.
It was not immediately clear whether that figure referred to combat casualties or civilians or both. The spokesman said nine Somaliland soldiers were also killed in the fighting. reuters