Galkayo, Somalia — Deputy Chief of Puntland Police Gen. Muhayadin Ahmed Musse stated that the Puntland forces exchanged fired with gunmen killing 3 civilians, during an operation in Galkayo, Garowe Online reports.
Gen. Musse who spoke to Galkayo Radio on Monday, said that the Puntland police conducted an operation on Masjid Salahudiin.
The operation was conducted following intelligence that men being pursued by the police entered the Mosque in Galkayo, capital of Mudug region on Sunday.
Puntland police led by Gen. Musse entered the mosque to arrest the individuals but were distracted by a group of people who began shooting at the police.
"After Maqhrib prayer in Galkayo we were informed about wanted men entering Salahudin Mosque and we prepared to arrest the men, some escaped during the shootout" said Gen. Musse
According to the general, some of the wanted individuals escaped in the ruckus caused by an unknown group who Gen. Musse presumed were working with the wanted criminals and began firing on police.
"Armed men began firing on police while we were conducting the operation, killing civilians. The gunmen escaped towards the Galmudug jurisdiction, and we believe they had come from that jurisdiction," said Gen. Musse.
Three people, including one woman were killed in the shooting and two others wounded in the gunfire exchange.
Almost 50 people were arrested in the operations and according to Gen. Musse, "many were released after being questioned by police."
Gen. Musse warned people who aid and abet criminals could end up facing the same punishment.
Earlier this month, Puntland security forces arrested one head of Al Shabaab's assassination division and another logistics agent in Galkayo during a raid. The security forces also seized explosives, detonators, wires and suicide jackets.