The Somaliland Minister for Interior Affairs and Security, Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, today, revealed that the Somaliland army positioned outside the troubled Sool town of Las Anod repulsed multi-fronted attacks from terrorist militias, masquerading as rebellious civilians, supported by trained troops who crossed over from the Puntland Federal State of Somalia.
In a statement he released early Tuesday morning, as the battle for supremacy of the town enters its second day, the Minister confirmed that the armed engagements started at around 5:30 in the morning but that they have been quickly repulsed, forcing the attackers to filter back to the town or flee to the interior.
“The terrorist militias who attacked army positions in the morning were supported by Puntland troops who have directly thrown themselves into the battle and other militias calling themselves the Khatumo army,” he said.
“Let the international community, neighboring countries, the African Union, IGAD, the United Nations and the Arab league be informed that terrorist militias supported by Puntland have joined forces in Las Anod,” Minister Kahin states, adding that Somaliland continues to stand for peace and stability of the region as always.
The Minister’s statement follows another the council of ministers issued last evening calling for calm.
The Council called on the international community and other key political and security actors to not extend succor to civilians displaced by the conflict but to, also, actively collaborate with the government of Somaliland in a situation that was planned by belligerent, combative elements to turn a wide swathe of area into a terrorist haven.
“The council wishes to impress on the international community and the region that terrorist militants and combatants from across the border have openly invaded the Republic of Somaliland putting its nationals in the Sool region under siege,” the statement added.
Bearing witness to above claim, the Somaliland national army have today captured several ‘technicals’ and a number of soldiers belonging to Puntland’s PSF division under Osman Diano and Shabaab and Daesh fighter units.
Abdi Madoobe, an ISIS leader on whose head the United States had placed a hefty bounty over his head – dead or alive – since 2017, sources say, has been spotted among the militant fighters in Las Anod,at the head of Daesh units under his command.
The government has placed several militant leaders under custody during the past few months from whom it gleaned valuable information on militant activities and sleeper cells in the area.
According to Somaliland’s Minister of Information, Suleiman Yussuf Ali Koore, the army let go civilian fighters who admitted that they were misled into fighting by the barrage of propaganda they were subjected to.
On their part, the splinter group of Garaads – traditional leaders – who called civilians to arms, have again repeated calls to Somalia and other leaders to support their armed engagements with troops and supplies in another attempt to turn the situation into an ethnic strife.
Somalia cautiously responded to the calls fully well knowing that the area overwhich the Garaads stake jurisdiction does not qualify for a federal state status in accordance with Somalia’s provisional constitution, nor is it within its power to make it one as it is well within the borders of Republic of Somaliland.