July 3, 2012 ·10 Comments
Policeman Mahil Abdi Muse, in Hargeisa, Somaliland (Photo by Alfred Weidinger).
ERIGAVO — Security forces detained a number of suspected al Qaeda militants in a series of night raids across the capital of Somaliland’s southern state of Sool this week, official said.
Governor Mohamed M. Ali of Sool said they have arrested several men in operations which begun after the assassination of the regional deputy attorney general last week in Las Anod.
The judge was killed early last week by unknown gunmen armed with pistols and he was the second judge assassinated in the town in less than a month.
The spate of killings prompted the regional leadership to order a security clampdown.
“We did not arrest them in a single night. We carried operations over several nights. We have arrested the assailants who killed the deputy attorney general and a number of suspected al Shabaab operatives,” he told Waaheen News by telephone.
The Governor did not shed light on the numbers, names of those said to be detained but he said a foreign fighter of Portuguese origin was among them. He added that they were currently being held in Las Anod for further investigations.
“Our operations have led us to a foreign Portuguese man who was an al Shabaab member. This is a victory for our state, police and military. It’s successful operation for us,” he said.
According to local sources a similar operation was also carried out in the capital Hargeisa which led to number of arrests of suspected militants.
Hargeisa has not had any militancy threats since 2008 when al Shabaab carried out three suicide bombings targeting government buildings and a United Nations compound which left at least 20 people dead.
Al Shabaab is mainly active in the neighbouring Somalia where thousands of African troops are battling them and their other affiliated al Qaeda terror networks.
This is the first time a foreign suspect of terrorism has been detained in Somaliland.
July 3, 2012Follow @somalilandpress