Monday, February 07, 2011
According to the Somaliland defence ministry, clan militias from Puntland attacked a Somaliland army base in Kalshale village.
"It is a pity that the clan militias from Buhodle district broke their promise to end the conflict in the region," Somaliland defence minister Ahmed Ali Adami told reporters in the regional capital Hargeysa.
"They attacked the Somaliland armed forces in Kalshale village but the army responded and inflicted casualties on the enemy. We cannot provide further details on casualties at this time," he said.
An elder in the Buhodle district, which lies on the southern end of the disputed border and near Ethiopia, said that the attackers had lost five of their men in the operation.
"We are getting information that the armed militants lost five combatants in the fighting while witnesses sid three Somaliland soldiers also died in the battle," Mohamed Jibril told AFP by phone.
He said the fighting lasted several hours and that tension remained high in the entire area.
"The toll can rise but so far residents are reporting eight killed in the clashes and 18 others injured, including civilians," said Mustafa Idris, another local elder.
"The Somaliland forces currently control the village," he said.
The Somaliland authorities have repeatedly accused the administration in neighbouring Puntland of being behind clan violence in the disputed area.
Puntland declared itself autonomous in 1998 but long retained close ties to the central administration in Mogadishu while Somaliland, which broke away soon after Somalia began its descent into chaos in 1991, is more peaceful than the rest of the country and is seeking international recognition.