Somalia: Puntland Police capture three militants alive, two killed [Report]
BOSSASO, Somalia Feb 8, 2015 (Garowe Online)- Puntland security forces intensified search operations in the Gulf of Aden port city of Bossaso, arresting over a dozen suspects and launching strenuous manhunt, Garowe Online reports.
The move has come after five militants in mini-van overnight on Tuesday attacked bodyguards manning a security checkpoint near Panaroma hotel that houses high ranking government officials including Deputy Police Commander-in-Chief Gen. Mohayadin Ahmed Musse.
Armed with hand grenades and AK-47 rifles, the five terrorists killed a soldier and wounded three others in brief gun battle according to officials.
Four of the five Al Shabaab gunmen immediately sped-off in Toyota Noah, leaving heavily armed militant behind, Gen. Musse told Garowe Online. However, security forces are said to have shot and killed the latter who refused to give himself in in Raf and Raho neighborhood.
Right hand drive vehicle overturns, attacker addresses media
The right hand drive vehicle carrying the fleeing militants suddenly overturned on 30th street which stretches from water wells to Qoyan neighborhood, killing an assailant and wounding two others while a man identified as Mohamud Rashid Ali escaped unharmed.
Speaking to reporters in Bossaso, Puntland Police commander, Gen. Mohamed Saed Jaqanaf disclosed that the militants disguised themselves, and carried out the pre-planned attack on security checkpoint approximately at 8:10 PM in the evening.
“We killed Al Shabaab militiaman in shootout after he tried to escape,” said Jaqanaf, adding that the police seized four vehicles and nearly ten people suspected of being responsible for the simmering terror attacks on military targets and key figures.
The captured militant who escaped unhurt from the car accident on the newly constructed road, Ali told the media that one of the wounded led the team of five during the operation.
“I crossed Galkayo into Bossaso and I came from southeast Somalia. Firstly, I started working as a waiter at a restaurant in Bossaso, I had been living here for many years,” unveiled the attacker.”Al Shabaab official in southern Somalia ordered us to launch raids on checkpoints over the phone”
Continuing, the militant revealed: “I joined Al Shabaab in 2013, I fought alongside Al Shabaab once while in southern Somalia.Whenever I carry out attack, I used to receive money from Al Shabaab officials and pledges of around $1000 are made for attackers”.
Somaliland accused of aiding Al Shabaab
Puntland has accused Somaliland, a breakaway region in northwestern Somalia and arch rival of throwing financial and military support behind Al Shabaab fighters operating hideouts along Golis Mountain Ranges.
Bari regional police Commander Abdihakin Yusuf Musse displayed Somaliland shilling currency into which he said was stashed the pockets of the Al Shabaab assailants.
Earlier, on January 30, Security Minister Hassan Osman Allore blamed the separatist administration for providing Islamist insurgents battling the Puntland forces with cash and military gears, allegations categorically denied by Somaliland.
Puntland has been grappling with growing insurgency and unprecedented surge in extremism.
As a result of intense military campaign by African Union peacekeepers and federal government forces in central and southern Somalia, militants began to migrate northwards towards the stable state.