At least 15 people were killed Monday in the Somali town of Bosaso after clashes between members of the Puntland region security forces following the landing of a flight carrying the deputy speaker of the Somali Parliament, Sadia Yasin Samatar.
Witnesses and official sources quoted by the Somali news portal Garowe Online have indicated that the clashes erupted following a dispute over the clearance of the flight, which was carrying humanitarian aid to this semi-autonomous region.
Puntland’s interior minister, Mohamed Abdirahman Dhabanad, has assured that Samatar, who is acting president of Somalia due to a trip abroad by the president, Hassan Shaykh Mohamud, did not contact the authorities before his trip.
Likewise, the Minister of Security, Abdisamad Gallan, has indicated that several soldiers tried to enter the airport to escort the cargo, ignoring the existing order on the prohibition of the presence of weapons in the facilities.
In this regard, a resident of Bosaso has indicated that “the clashes were staged by members of the airport security forces and members of the security forces who arrived on the scene to escort Yassin Samatar and the convoy.”
The above-mentioned portal has pointed out that the vice-president of the Parliament did not get out of the plane, which finally returned to the capital, Mogadishu, without the central government having pronounced itself for now on the incident.
The incident has taken place weeks after Puntland authorities announced that they were suspending cooperation with the central government in protest against the appointment of Hamza Abdi Barre as prime minister.