Four people killed in mortar attack in Las Anod town

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At least four people were killed and several others wounded today after mortar shells struck the disputed town of Las Anod, according to residents.

In an interview with BBC Somali, a resident reported that there had been an exchange of artillery between the Somaliland army and SCC-Khatumo forces, leading to the mortar shells landing in a residential area.

The Somaliland government and SCC-Khatumo elders have not commented on the renewed hostilities in the eastern part of the town.

The conflict in Las Anod has entered its seventh month, despite the city being calm, with no direct clashes in the past two weeks.

The conflict in Las Anod intensified following the assassination of a Dhulbahante politician in December 2022, sparking widespread protests. Somaliland security forces responded with excessive and lethal force, leading to the deaths and injuries of numerous protesters.

In the face of mounting anger and continued protests over the killings, Somaliland authorities withdrew their forces, allowing Dhulbahante clan elders to enter the city and declare their disassociation from Somaliland’s administration.

However, clashes immediately erupted between Somaliland security forces and armed fighters linked to the Dhulbahante clan, resulting in a full-scale armed conflict. The violence has caused an estimated death toll of around 300 people and displaced approximately 154,000 to 203,000 civilians from their homes. The conflict has triggered international outrage and repeated calls for an immediate resolution.