By Abdiqani Hassan
BOSASSO, Somalia (Reuters) – Fighting between clans in Somalia’s breakaway Somaliland region has killed more than 50 people, a witness at the scene and an official in neighbouring Puntland said on Tuesday.
“There has been fierce clan fighting yesterday and today. Over 50 people died but they have not been buried because the fighting is still going on,” Ahmed Ismail told Reuters from Dhumey village.
“The injured are dying of blood loss because there are no hospitals here,” he said, adding that some had been taken to hospitals further away.
Dhumey is in an area controlled by Somaliland, but which has been claimed by Puntland for years.
“We understand 51 people died and 120 others were injured in fighting, with clans exchanging heavy weapons fire for the second day,” Abdullahi Ali Hirsi, interior minister of Puntland, told Reuters.
“It is unfortunate that other clan militias equipped and paid by Somaliland have sided with the two fighting clans. We call for ceasefire and urge the clan elders to stop the war and participate in a peace conference to be held by Puntland.”
Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 and operates as an independent state but has not won international recognition.
(Editing by George Obulutsa and Andrew Roche)