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At least one soldier from the Puntland Security forces died and another was injured after a fellow soldier opened fire on a group of soldiers in Laag village, 30km south of the port city of Bosaso, on Tuesday afternoon, witnesses and officials told Somalia Report.
On late Tuesday afternoon Puntland security forces in Laag were chewing khat (a narcotic plant) while relaxing at their base in Laag village when a soldier, Abdi Said Farah, opened fire on his friends, killing Ciiro Aw-Jama and injuring Ahmed Mohamoud Ali.
“At 5:00pm local time, two soldiers began to argue with each other. One opened fire and then fled after he realized his friend died. Senior officials arrived in the area and sent other troops to catch the killer,” Mohamoud Ali, a witness in Laag village, told Somalia Report.
Local officials confirmed the incident.
“Yes, it’s true. The soldier escaped to mountains near Laag village. We sent a number of troops to seize him, but unfortunately they didn’t find him and they returned to us this evening without the killer,” Abdi Yasin, commander of Puntland security forces in Laag village told Somalia Report.
Reasons for the shooting remain unknown.
“We are investigating the case. I am the commander of this group. We believe Abdi Said Farah killed his friends on accident after an argument,” explained the commander.
Early reports indicated the soldier may have been operating on behalf of the Galgala militia which has threatened to attack Puntland forces, but officials denied any link.
"This is not related to Galgala militia. It is simply a fight between two soldiers. The suspect fled to Karin, not the Galgala mountains," Commander Abdi Yasin told Somalia Report.
Laag is small strategic village with a bridge connecting Bosaso to other regions. The village has been used by al-Shabaab militants making their way to Galgala to join Sheik Atom's militia.