Somalia: At least 15 killed in Bossaso skirmish over Sadia’s arrival
BOSSASO, Puntland – At least 15 people are confirmed dead and several wounded after rival forces in Puntland engaged in a fierce gunfight on Monday in Bossaso port city.
According to witnesses and officials, the confrontation at the city’s airport was triggered by the dispute over receiving a plane carrying aid sent by the Somali federal government.
Sadia Yasin Samatar, who is now acting president of Somalia was aboard the plane transporting humanitarian supplies. The dispute over her arrival sparked the conflict.
Samatar, who was MP elected from Puntland this year did not make any contact with Puntland government officials about her trip to the city, according to Puntland’s minister of interior Mohamed Abdirahman Dhaban’ad.
Speaking to the media, Abdisamad Gallan, the security minister of the Federal State said soldiers taking the order from the reinstated PSF commander Mohamud Osman Diyano attempted to enter the airport with their weapons, ignoring the ban on arms.
“The Confrontation was between airport security forces [PMPF] and PSF who arrived in the area to escort the deputy parliament speaker Sadia Yasin and her aid convoy,” said a resident, who spoke to Garowe Online.
Speaker is said to be safe and her plane was turned away and is back to Mogadishu. Most of the casualties are said to be soldiers from both sides and the situation returned to normalcy.
Diyano was sacked by Said Abdullahi Deni, the president of Puntland in November last year, a move that prompted a three-day battle in Bossaso in December that killed dozens of civilians and soldiers in the key city.
Following efforts, local traditional elders and other stakeholders necessitated his reinstatement. PSF was initially trained by the US to help the war on terror in Puntland.