Somaliland, SCC-Khatumo accuse each other of starting heavy fighting in Las Anod

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Somaliland administration and the SCC-Khatumo administration accused each other today of starting Tuesday’s heavy fighting in the disputed Las Anod town. The conflict resulted in casualties whose identities remained undisclosed.

Deputy leader of the SCC-Khatumo, Dr. Mohamed Abdi Ismail, has accused the Somaliland army of initiating the conflict, but his forces resisted and inflicted casualties upon the Somaliland military. Dr. Ismail reiterated his administration’s commitment to expelling Somaliland troops from the regions of Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn, collectively referred to as SSC-Khatumo.

He called upon his troops to escalate their efforts, stating, “You must be prepared to invest your lives and resources, as this is the righteous war upon which your future and honour hinge.”

In response, the Somaliland Ministry of Defence has stated that the joint forces of the Puntland regional administration and the SCC-Khatumo attacked its forces. According to the ministry, the Somaliland army successfully resisted the assault and accused Puntland of seeking to destabilize Las Anod for its own gain.

The clash on Tuesday took place in the Maraga and Hargaga areas in the eastern part of the town. Since February 6, there has been heavy fighting in the northern Somali city of Las Anod between troops of Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland and local militia from the Dhulbahante clan in the north of Somalia. Hundreds have been killed, while thousands have been displaced from the town.