MOGADISHU, May 24 (Xinhua) — Fierce fighting erupted again between Somaliland and Puntland forces on Thursday on the outskirts of Tukaraq town in Sool region, north of Somalia.
The two regional states have accused each other of starting the clashes in the disputed town amid use of heavy weaponry
Abdirahman Guri-Barwaqo, Somaliland Information Minister, accused Somali government of attacking Somaliland troops.
Soldiers from both sides were killed and wounded in the battle,” Guri-Barwaqo said in a statement. No casualties have been reported so far as both sides trade blame for the fighting which stated at around 6 a.m.
However, Puntland blamed Somaliland for the fresh round of clashes which had subsided following last week’s deadly attack and vowed that the regional government was ready to defend its territory and people.
“Puntland is sufficient to defend its land and its people,” Puntland said in the statement, accusing Hargeisa of launching a major offensive against its forces stationed around the disputed town.
The fighting resumed despite appeal from Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo) and the UN who have called for an immediate cessation of hostilities between the two warring regional states.
Tension has been simmering in Tukaraq in the past three months after Somaliland troops seized control of the strategic town in January following an incursion against Puntland Defense forces stationed there.
The two regional Somali states have clashed previously since 2002 over control of disputed regions in Northern Somalia.