Somalia: Two hurt in rally against Somaliland in Las Anod
LAS ANOD, Somalia - At least two women were reported to have been wounded by the troops of Somalia's northern breakaway Somaliland in Las-Anod, the regional capital of Sool during a riot on Thursday, Garowe Online reports.
Protesters marched through the town, shouting slogans against the self-declared state and called for the immediate withdrawal of invading forces from the entire Sool region, the epicentre of the conflict between Puntland and Somaliland.
A resident, speaking to GO on condition of anonymity said hundreds of people, including women and children took to the streets of the city to express their opposition to Somaliland's army presence in the region.
Somaliland police fired bullets to disperse the angry protesters staging the rally and wounded two unarmed women, who have been admitted to a local hospital for medical treatment. Several others were arrested.
Last month, more than 40 protesters and two local journalists covering a similar anti-Somaliland demonstration in a town, a move that has been condemned by the Puntland government as an "oppression against local residents."
Somaliland officials could not be reached for comment.
The protests in Las Anod came amid a brewing tension between Puntland and Somaliland in Tukaraq village, which has been taken by the Hargeisa-based administration last January following an incursion.
Military sources said dozens of soldiers from both warring sides have been killed, and dozens injured in the latest clashes between the rival forces who are still remain stationed on opposite sides in the contested area.
Somalia’s international partners voiced concern over the renewed conflict in the region between Puntland and Somaliland, and called for an immediate ceasefire and end the differences through peaceful dialogue.
Somaliland is an internationally unrecognised state that declared independence from Somalia in 1991. The two neighbouring Somali states have been at war with one another for the ownership of the region since 2002.