Defense Lines Set up amid Heavy Military Buildup in Somalia’s Capital

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Forces loyal to the former police of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu Sadiq John have set up defense lines in Shirkole neighborhood, just hours after pro-government forces began heavy military buildup in nearby army and police installations.

A brief exchange of gunfire was reported on Friday night after the ex-police chief fled from his home near Adan Adde airport over fears of an imminent attack by government forces and returned to his clan-dominated Shirkole neighborhood.

Protests against president Farmajo were staged in Shirkole and nearby neighborhoods by Sadiq’s supporters, chanting slogans against the outgoing leader, whose approval of vote to extend his mandate sparked growing tensions in the capital.

Forces loyal to the former Banadir police chief say the defense lines have been set up to defend Sadiq John and his followers from possible attacks by pro-Farmajo forces, though the federal government denied planning offensive to arrest the rebellious officer.

Traditional leaders and MPs, who spoke to media, after visiting Shirkole on Friday night have vowed to defend the ex-regional police chief if government forces move ahead with planned assault.

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