20 November 2012

Somalia: 'Anti-Peace Groups' Behind Businessman's Killing, Says Mudug Governor

Galkayo — The governor of Mudug region in the autonomous Puntland state in northern Somalia has blamed 'anti-peace groups' for killings and kidnappings in Galkayo, Garowe Online reports.

M r. Mohamed Yusuf Jama Tigey, the governor of Mudug region, told reporters in Galkayo on Tuesday that he sends condolences to the families of a Galkayo businessman killed by unknown gunmen on Monday evening (Nov. 19).

"We must unite against the anti-peace groups who target our best people and Aden Farah Dheere's legacy will live on," said Governor Tigey.

Aden Farah Dheere was a businessman gunned down outside of a mosque in Galkayo's Garsoor neighborhood after evening prayers. A second man was wounded in the shooting and the killers escaped.

Continuing his press statement, Governor Tigey said that Puntland officials "are in contact" with officials in Galmudug administration that controls south Galkayo, regarding the kidnapping of five persons by Galmudug militiamen midday Nov. 19.

Local journalists told Garowe Online that the five persons were traveling by road from Galdogob to Galkayo when Galmudug militiamen stopped their vehicle and kidnapped them. Four of the five men are from Puntland and one man is from Bay region of southern Somalia.

Unconfirmed reports say that the kidnapping was organized by the brother of a member of Al Shabaab group who was arrested by Puntland authorities on Nov. 17. According to a government press statement, Puntland security forces arrested two men identified as Mr. Mohamud Nuh Aden "Abu Hafsa" from Somaliland and Mr. Abdirizak Hussein Tahlil "Ilka'ase" from Galmudug while smuggling explosives into Puntland.

Local sources say the kidnapping was organized by Mr. Tahlil 's brother, who gained support from some militiamen in Galmudug. The reports have been verified independently .

A Puntland security source tells Garowe O nline that both the killing of Mr. Aden Farah Dheere and the kidnapping of five persons on the same day was "Al Shabaab response" to Puntland security operations arresting senior members of Al Shabaab and seizing expl osives.

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