Somaliland army overpowers surprise attack from Puntland
TUKARAQ(SomalilandPress)—In an attempt to surprise Somaliland forces stationed in the outskirt of Tukaraq village, Puntland militia arm with dozen technical pickup trucks mounted with machine guns and 4 commercial trucks carrying fighters attacked an army barrack earlier today. The fighting began just before noon prayer when Puntland militia made a daring attack on Somaliland forces based on the front line, however Somaliland forces were able to rout the militia.
According to Ahmed Hussein Somaliland military officer based in Las Anod who spoke with SomalialndPress reporter on phone “fighting began noon and lasted several hours in which Somaliland army overpowered the militias and captured five militias, one battle wagon and few hundred rounds of ammunition”. Somaliland forces sustained three wounded officers who were brought to Las Anod city hospital with none life threatening wounds. On the Puntland side it is said that there were ten wounded militias who were taken to Garowe hospital in the capital of Puntland.
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Puntland’s Information Minister Ahmed Ali Askar held a press conference in which his side acknowledged this afternoons clash with Somaliland army and that there were casualties on both sides. Mr. Askar however did not disclose the number of militia that was captured from his side or the motive of the attack from their side. In a surprise twist Mr. Askar blamed Somalia’s Transitional Government and SSC militia for today’s clash with Somaliland forces. The information minister goes on to say “TFG and SSC militia are creating conflict between the two stable regions and that they are to be blamed for today’s clash”. In the last several months Somalia Transitional Government (TFG) has been arming SSC militia in an attempt to create conflict between Somaliland and Puntland in a mini proxy war of its own.
Somaliland government has not spoken about this afternoons clash with Puntland militia. It was two weeks ago when Somaliland President Ahmed Siilanyo’s speech at Somaliland’s 20th anniversary said “it is important that Somaliland has good relationship with Puntland, however Somaliland will not negotiate in defending its territorial rights”.
The following is the full audio of Puntland’s Information Minister’s Press Conference
Somalilandpress | 30 May 2011