A doctor said Saturday that at least 57 people were killed in days of confrontations between antigovernment insurgents and Somaliland security forces in the disputed city of Las Anod after local officials said they wanted to rejoin Somalia’s federal government.
Abdimajid According to Hussein Sugulle, the director-general of a public hospital in Las Anod, more than 400 people were also injured in nearly a week of combat.
On Friday night, authorities in Somaliland, a province that seceded from Somalia three decades ago and seeks recognition as an independent country, declared a unilateral cease-fire. Residents, meanwhile, reported that fighting continued in and around the eastern city.
For years, Somaliland and the Somali state of Puntland have fought for Las Anod, but the city has always been within Somaliland authority.
The Somaliland government accused clan insurgents of attacking army installations. In response, Somaliland forces were accused of invading the city, and the only option to restore calm was for the troops to withdraw.
According to the UN, the fighting has displaced over 80,000 people. During the shelling, water and electricity were cut off.
“Indiscriminate shelling of civilians is abhorrent and must cease,” the United Nations and international partners warned earlier this week.
According to the Somali Red Crescent Society, among the deceased was one of its volunteers, who was killed by a stray bullet.