Qardo — Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole leading a delegation of Puntland officials, visited the town of Qardo and met with district officials and community leaders, Garowe Online reports.
Puntlad President Farole led a delegation of Puntland ministers and police officials who arrived in Qardo early Friday.
Puntland Security Minister Khalif Isse Mudan, Minister of Environment Abdiqani Yusuf Adde and Puntland Police Chief Gen. Mohamed Saeed Janaqaf accompanied the President on his visit to Qardo.
According to Minister Mudan, President Farole received a big welcome from the Qardo residents.
However, Abdirashid Allore a former Puntland official who spoke to VOA Somali on Friday read a statement saying that there were demonstrations in Qardo about President Farole's 5-year term in office.
"Residents of Qardo held a big protest demonstrating against President Farole's 5 year term in office. The demonstrators were chanting for 'President Farole to step down'," said Mr. Allore.
Continuing, the former official said that two people were wounded after security fired upon them as they demonstrated.
Security Minister Mudan was asked how the shooting of two civilians occurred in Qardo on Friday.
"Before President Farole arrived in Qardo, a group of teenagers had blocked the road with stones. Security forces that were sent ahead of the President had fired shots in the air to disperse the crowd which resulted in two people being injured," said Minister Mudan.
Minister Mudan continued saying that President Farole ordered immediate and full medical treatment of the civilians who are being treated for minor injuries in Qardo.
The Minister denied that there were demonstrations in Qardo and commended the residents for their hard work and cooperation with the Puntland government.
"Qardo residents welcomed the President very beautifully and apart from the tragic shooting of two civilians there were no disruptions," said Minister Mudan.
Before arriving in Qardo, President Farole visited the town of Dongarayo and met with traditional and community leaders.
President Farole will meet with district officials, religious leaders, community leaders and elders while in Qardo, where he is expected to stay before departing to Bossaso.