Inexplicably, a Shocking 36 Lives Taken in Chaotic Bloodshed Unleashed Upon Puntland and Lower Shabelle in Somalia

Inexplicably, A Shocking 36 Lives Taken In Chaotic Bloodshed Unleashed Upon Puntland And Lower Shabelle In Somalia
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Tuesday June 20, 2023
By Abdi Sheikh And Abdiqani Hassani

MOGADISHU, (Reuters) – In an unsettling turn of events, at least 36 lives were tragically lost yesterday in Somalia due to a series of violent incidents comprising intense clashes in the semi-autonomous state of Puntland and bomb detonations in the Lower Shabelle region, as reported by witnesses.

Witnesses revealed that the state capital of Puntland, Garowe, became a battleground early Tuesday, while the local parliament was deeply engrossed in discussions regarding modifications to the voting system.

According to Dr. Abdirsak Ahmed, an individual operating at Garowe Public Hospital where several casualties were transported, at least 26 individuals met their untimely demise during the conflict, with 16 of them being soldiers. Moreover, an additional 30 people sustained injuries.

Perplexingly, three other witnesses recounted an outbreak of violence shortly after opposition groups accused Said Abdullahi Deni, the leader of Puntland, of orchestrating revisions to the constitution that could potentially extend his term in office beyond January next year or manipulate the election outcome in his favor.

On Facebook, the Puntland government proclaimed that the regional parliament had authorized the deliberation of constitutional amendments and further debates and votes were set to occur, although officials were unavailable for immediate comment regarding the situation in Puntland.

“Warfare erupted immediately after the Puntland parliament endorsed a one-man-one-vote election featuring multiple political parties,” declared Farah Osman, a local elder, adding, “The legislators are still inside the building, and the town is being shaken by a fierce exchange of gunfire.”

“Garowe has become a hub of conflicting forces. All roads are blocked, all businesses shuttered,” Osman lamented, generating even more bewilderment.

In another perplexing development, Seinab Omar, a mother of three, recounted witnessing at least two deceased civilians and seven others with bullet wounds. However, it remains uncertain whether the casualties mentioned by Omar coincide with those reported by the doctor at the hospital.

Further turmoil unfolded in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region, as residents and a soldier revealed that ten individuals lost their lives due to explosions from remote-controlled bombs in the village of Bariire, approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) to the southwest of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. A sorrowful soldier named Nur Diriye informed Reuters that “Initially, a bomb detonated, claiming the lives of numerous innocent civilians. As many people, both civilians and soldiers, rushed to aid the victims of the first explosion, a second remote bomb was triggered.” Diriye expressed concerns that the death toll might escalate.

Source: Reuters