GAROWE (Somaliguardian) – Heavy fighting erupted in the coastal town of Bosaso in northeastern Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland on Tuesday after regional troops launched planned offensive to end weeks-long security force mutiny, marking a dangerous escalation in a political wrangling in the relatively stable region.
A base housing Puntland Security Force (PSF), whose commander Mohamud Osman Diano defied a decree from regional President in which he had been dismissed and staged mutiny, was shelled on Tuesday after clashes broke out.
Military vehicles could be seen across the deserted streets of Ridwan neighborhood of Bosaso, where residents say troops have blocked them from fleeing their homes, forcing them to remain indoors as stray bullets rain down.
Dozens of military vehicles rushing with reinforcements for Puntland forces were seen heading to the front-lines. Region’s presidential guards are among soldiers involved the offensive to quell PSF mutiny amid President Saeed Deni’s stay in the town of Baidoa where he had attended the third anniversary from the election of Abdiasis Laftagaren as Southwest President.
At least five civilians are confirmed to have been wounded and some have been admitted to the city’s main hospital. Casualties on the combatants have not been immediately clear.
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