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The elders from two warring sub-clans of the Majeerteen were rounded up and taken to Bosaso central police station. Those arrested were accused of encouraging and directing a surge in violence.
Two businessmen were killed in Bosaso earlier this week, followed up by an apparent revenge attack on a mosque in Kub-Dhehad village, which claimed four lives. The Tuesday morning attacks in Ufeyn area are said to have been carried out with technicals belonging to one of the Majerteen sub-clans involved in the conflict. On Monday, four employees of the Red Sea Company in Bosaso, three of whom belong to one of the sub-clans, came under fire by gunmen.
There is a heavy security presence in Bosaso, amid fears that the fighting could take root in the city, where the two clans live side by side. Both the sub-clans are mobilizing their clan militia in the Ufeyn area, particularly around Moqor and Bosaso. In reaction to the rising tension, the Puntland authorities also deployed forces in Barako, Moqor, and Ceel Dahir to prevent further clashes.
Puntland has been relatively peaceful since its formation in 1998, but this year there has been an explosion of assassinations and revenge attacks. Much of the violence appears to be clan-related, but the government has accused militant Islamist group al-Shabaab of lurking in the background and attempting to destabilize the region.
Tension between the two sub-clans has been reported with varying intensity for more than two years. The conflict is motivated by a long-standing competition over water resources and grazing land Ufeyn, and was triggered after one of the sub-clans constructed traditional dams in Moqor village.
MPs Lose Seats
Meanwhile in Puntland, MPs were fired from parliament after 53 other MPs accused them of not of attending mandatory parliament meetings over the last few months.
Hamsa Osman Hashi and Hirsi Abdi Oog, the fired MPs, did not attend today’s meeting.
Mohamed Abdullah Elmi and Abdirisak Yasin Abdulle were inaugurated to replace them.
The deputy chairman of Puntland parliament, Salad Hared, told the local media that MPs can lose their seats if they don’t attend at least two consecutive meetings.