Somalia: Landmine blasts and fighting from north to south

News and Press Release
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Reports of attacks and fighting have arrived over the past 24 hours from every corner of Somalia, from the semi-autonomous region of Puntland in the north, to Mogadishu and the central Galgadud region, with an overall toll of at least 13 dead and an unspecified number wounded. The most violent episode occurred in the city of Bosaso, in the Puntland region, where a series of blasts occurred overnight in still unclear circumstances. According to local sources, a series of landmines were detonated in different points of the city, one of which killing four soldiers and wounding nine; all the blasts were reportedly targeted at security forces. The army launched a security operation, arresting some thirty people. Some sources reported heavy exchanges of fire, referring that the toll of the night could rise over the next hours. At least three people (two soldiers and a student) were killed in a shooting in Mogadishu yesterday in the southern neighbourhood of Derkenley. South Mogadishu was theatre since Sunday until this morning at dawn to heavy fighting between government troops and insurgents. Meanwhile, authorities of the Balanbal district in the central Galgudud region confirmed that a landmine blast hit a family of pastoralists. Hared Hassan Barre, the district commissioner of Balanbal district, in fact confirmed to the Somali media that six children of the same family were killed in a landmine blast. Based on a reconstruction, the landmine, probably a remnant of the war between Somalia and Ethiopian in 1977, was buried where the family was cooking. Only the parents and a small child survived the blast, because they left the area to search for wood. The district commissioner told Radio Shabelle that they have repeatedly asked, without success, for collaboration of Somali and international agencies in clearing the vast territory of landmines.